Bulgaria’s government says Ukrainian refugee situation in the country ‘under control’

Of the 94 000 people who had arrived in Bulgaria, fleeing Putin’s war on Ukraine, about 50 000 had remained in the country, a news conference on March 18 was told.

About 700 citizens of Ukraine had applied for protection, the briefing was told.

Deputy Prime Minister Kalina Konstantinova, who chairs the operational headquarters set up to deal with the refugee situation, said that the situation in Bulgaria was calm and “under control”.

Valeri Rachev, who heads the national headquarters, said that so far, 3.1 million people had fled the war in Ukraine, two million to Poland.

He said that currently, daily about 100 000 arrive in the European Union.

Rachev said that it was critical to be able to register as many people as possible for temporary protection in a shorter period of time.

Deputy Interior Minister Stoyan Temelakiev said that many of those fleeing the war in Ukraine were staying in large hotels on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast.

Transport is provided to each initial reception point for people who arrive in Bulgaria and are not certain about where to go, Temelakiev said.

“So far, we do not have people who are on the street, in unfavourable conditions,” he said.

At the border, control was strict, and a risk profile had been developed to assess whether a person could pose a risk to national security.

Irena Georgieva of the Tourism Ministry said that more than 25 000 Ukrainian citizens were in places of accommodation.

There was a problem with large hotels in the major cities, which had said that the amount set aside by the state for financial support did not make accommodating the Ukrainians affordable for them.

According to Georgieva, the first payment to hoteliers accommodating Ukrainians who have applied for protection will take place in the first 20 days of April.

The Bulgarian government has set up a website to assist Ukrainians, and to provide information to those in Bulgaria who want to help: ukraine.gov.bg. The website has versions in Ukrainian, English, Bulgarian and Russian.

The governnment has opened a four-language hotline to help those fleeing the war in Ukraine and for all issues related to receiving them in Bulgaria. The telephone numbers are 02/9055555 and +380 322465075.

To support the 7.5 million children in Ukraine who are in danger, Unicef has launched a global appeal. In line with this, Unicef in Bulgaria launched an emergency fundraising campaign to provide emergency humanitarian aid to children and families in Ukraine. You can find additional information by following this link.

Details of the bank account for donations to the Bulgarian Red Cross’s fundraising campaign for humanitarian aid for Ukraine may be found at this link.

(Archive photo: Interior Ministry press centre)

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