Bulgaria: 25 000 Ukrainians have signed up for relocation as deadline approaches

More than 25 000 Ukrainians in Bulgaria have signed up to be transported from hotels as the May 27 end-of-day deadline to register approaches, Krassimira Velichkova, an adviser to Deputy Prime Minister Kalina Konstantinova, told Bulgarian National Radio.

On May 31, the system whereby the state paid hotels 40 leva per person per day to accommodate Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s war on their country comes to an end.

From May 28 to 31, those Ukrainians who want to take part in the successor system – of accommodation in state and municipal accommodation and in hotels that will paid a lower fee – will be relocated from hotels to their new accommodation. The intention is to mainly use rail transport for the relocation.

Hotels participating in the new phase will be paid either 10 or 15 leva a day, not including value-added tax, depending on whether food is provided.

The most recent update on the dedicated government portal showed that 95 583 Ukrainians remained in Bulgaria, with 1816 registered as having left Bulgaria between May 25 and 26.

A total of 58 271 were currently accommodated in hotels.

Velichkova said that 400 hotels had signed up for the new 15 leva a day programme

“About 22 000 people who are in hotels at the moment will stay there, because these hotels have signed up for the program and continue to take care of the refugees,” Velichkova said.

“We are confident that we will have places for all the people who need to be relocated,” she said.

The government information portal said that Ukrainians in Bulgaria wanting the state to provide shelter for them must complete a government questionnaire by May 27 at the latest.

The questionnaire will be used by the National Headquarters for the preparation of a detailed logistics plan and a preliminary schedule for the transportation of people under temporary protection.

“If someone who has so far benefited from the humanitarian programme no longer wishes to use it and does not wish to be relocated, he or she has the right to choose where to shelter at his or her own expense,” the statement on the government portal said.

“Quite a number of people have already chosen to stay with relatives and friends, or in accommodation. However, for anyone who wants to be sheltered by the state, filling out the questionnaire is mandatory.

“Only after completing the survey can you get your new address up to 48 hours before moving,” it said.

The government headquarters also asked those who have temporary protection, but do not need state accommodation, to submit their data, so that the headquarters knows which people need help and may focus its resources and efforts on them.

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