Red Cross and Red Crescent grant funds to help Bulgaria cope with refugee situation

Bulgaria is to get 173 000 Swiss francs (about 141 040 euro) from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help the country deal with the refugee situation, Bulgarian Red Cross chairman Hristo Grigorov said on October 3 2013.

Bulgaria has seen a steadily swelling number of refugees entering the country across the Turkish border, mainly from Syria, in recent weeks and months.

State institutions have been scrambling to try to cope and the situation has cost the head of the State Agency for Refugees his job for non-performance in the face of the crisis.

Grigorov said that the funds from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies would be used to help those most in need among the refugees.

If the situation in Bulgaria worsens, we have been assured that we will be able to use more financial resources from this fund, he said, according to a report by local news agency Focus.

European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva is to visit Bulgaria on October 4 to examine the refugee situation.

At the invitation of the Bulgarian Red Cross, Georgieva is to visit the refugee centres in the districts of Vrazhdebna and Voenna Rampa in the capital city Sofia.

She is to visit the BRC headquarters to be briefed on the actions taken by the organisation.

The BRC has been running a campaign to gather donations and other forms of assistance for refugees. As of October 1, the campaign had raised about 12 000 leva (about 6000 euro) since it was started on September 18.

Forty-one Syrian citizens had been detained on the Turkish-Bulgarian border in the past 24 hours, Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry said on October 3.

According to the National Operational Headquarters, a total of 91 people were detained for illegally crossing the Turkish-Bulgarian border from 6am on October 2 to 6am on October 3.

The refugee centres of the State Agency for Refugees and the specialized homes of the Interior Ministry can accommodate 2850 people in total. Currently there are 211 people more than this number, the ministry said.

The agency has taken steps to speed up the procedures for granting refugee status or asylum, according to the Interior Ministry.

(Photo: UN Photo/Mark Garten)



The Sofia Globe staff

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