Bulgaria’s government replaces head of State Agency for Refugees

Bulgaria’s government has replaced Petya Purvanova as head of the State Agency for Refugees because of unsatisfactory performance, according to a government statement.

Purvanova was dismissed at the suggestion of Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, a statement on March 23 said.

She had held the post since March 2016.

The government statement said that her dismissal was the result of unsatisfactory results over the years, insufficient technological and experts support and readiness to deal with refugee crises.

Although in the past three years alone, the agency had been provided with 50 million leva funding, both from European Union programmes and the state budget, there was insufficient capacity and resources to manage the situation with the people displaced from Ukraine, the statement said.

Speaking to Bulgarian National Radio, Purvanova said that the government had lost confidence in her.

Mariana Tosheva has been appointed as the agency’s new head.

The government said that Tosheva had close to 30 years of professional experience working with refugees.

Tosheva has worked as co-ordinator of a UN refugee agency project in Bulgaria, worked for the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee on refugee and migrant legal aid, and from 2007 until recently, was programme manager of the Bulgarian Red Cross’s refugee and migrant service.

The government said that Tosheva “knows how to manage and coordinate teams and projects, she is known for her tolerance and ability to communicate with people from different cultures and backgrounds, and has experience in working in a multicultural team”.

She speaks German, English and Russian.

(Photo: government.bg)

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