Past Year Is Poor for Refugees' Integration in Bulgaria – UNHCR

Domestic | December 30, 2014, Tuesday // 19:36|  views

Accommodation centre for refugees in the Bulgarian town of Harmanli. Photo: BGNES/EPA

The speaker of UNHCR in Bulgaria Boris Cheshirkov said on Tuesday that the past year has been unsuccessful for the integration of refugees in the country.

The speaker of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stated this in an interview for Darik radio.

Cheshirkov expressed hope that the government will provide the necessary measures and funds so that the strategy on the refugees' integration can be implemented in practice.

He commented that integration should become a priority of the country as considerable improvements have been made in the initial reception of refugees.

According to him, the conditions in the accommodation centres have significantly improved and food is supplied regularly.

Cheshirkov noted that the procedure on the issue of status was considerably shortened and the agency issued a record number of them in 2014 – over 7000.

In his words, the main challenge that lay ahead was to provide the refugees, who had already been granted with their status and documents, with initial language training.

In this way the refugees could make use of affordable housing and enter the labour market at an earlier stage.

Cheshirkov stated that the integration strategy adopted by the previous cabinet contained a plan which could not be fulfilled.

He expressed hope that the government will find a way to provide the integration strategy with another plan and implement it with the necessary funds.

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Tags: Bulgaria, refugees, Integration, strategy, UNHCR, reception, accommodation, status


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