Bulgaria Set to Receive Millions in Refugee Crisis AidBulgaria in EU | January 5, 2014, Sunday // 11:55| views
Hundreds of refugees in Bulgaria in need of protection have ended up living for months in appalling conditions and without timely and unimpeded access to asylum procedure. Photo BGNES
In 2014, Bulgaria will receive over EUR 10.5 M in emergency aid for refugees, says Deputy Interior Minister Vasil Marinov.
Marinov has spoken in an interview with the daily newspaper Pressa (Press).
"The original schedule for 2014-2020 was for the Fund "Asylum and Refugees" to be provided EUR 10 M. From them, next year we were to receive about EUR 700 thousand. Due to the active communication of the government, however, just in 2014 we will receive more than EUR 10.5 M for crisis management" the Deputy Interior Minister announces.
He explained that this includes EUR 8.6 M emergency aid under European programs and USD 3.5 M dollars from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Meanwhile, Bulgaria has been criticized harshly for the way it is handling the refugee wave and crisis.
Amnesty International has welcomed the position of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) calling on European Union (EU) member states to halt transfers of asylum-seekers back to Bulgaria until April 2014.
According to government statistics 11 606 entered the country in 2013, Amnesty said.
As a result, hundreds of people in need of protection have ended up living for months in appalling conditions and without timely and unimpeded access to asylum procedure.
The first statistic for 2014 of the State Agency for Refugees (DAB) shows that there are 9,500 refugees currently residing in Bulgaria.
Around half of those seeking asylum in Bulgaria come from Syria, and most of them are accommodated in the temporary shelters, reported Standartnews.
The reception centers in the capital Sofia as well as the campus in Harmanli remain the most densely populated.
In December, DAB made a commitment to speed up the process of granting refugee status and to quickly deport those who are refused such.
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