The EU to Give 55 Million Euros to Bulgaria for Refugees and Social PaymentsEU | September 19, 2022, Monday // 17:09| views
The European Commission announced on Monday that it will pay Bulgaria 55 million euros through the European Social Fund, for social payments.
18.6 million euros will cover basic needs of vulnerable groups such as food and basic necessities. Ukrainian refugees will also be able to use them. They will be able to exchange their vouchers for food, clothing and school supplies for children and other basic needs.
Another 36.4 million euros will be directed to preserve jobs and improve care services for people with disabilities. Of these, 23.8 million euros (about 2/3) will support the "Solidarity Project", which helps 9,000 people fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine to integrate into the Bulgarian labor market, offering, among other things, psychological support, career guidance and employment counseling, the European Commission said in a statement.
The money is from the EU's pandemic recovery programme, a small part of which goes through cohesion funds through the REACT-EU instrument. According to the main part of the program - the recovery plan, Bulgaria is still waiting for the approval of the 1.37 billion euro first payment requested by the government.
According to data from the Bulgarian government, there are 85,483 Ukrainian refugees in the country, of which 21,000 are accommodated in state housing, and the rest are on free rent.
According to the head of the refugee agency Mariana Tosheva, less than 5,000 Ukrainian refugees are working in Bulgaria.
At the end of August, the European Commission announced that Bulgaria had requested a loan of 460 million euros under another social program to cover costs for COVID measures.
They are in line with the SURE (European instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency) financial instrument, which was created to support social measures in European countries during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
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