EU to help Bulgaria on refugee crisis

Bulgaria is to receive next week technical and financial assistance from the EU for coping with the refugee situation.

The information about the upcoming assistance was provided after a Thursday meeting between EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres and Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski.

Speaking after the meeting, Guterres, as cited by the Focus news agency, noted that they had agreed to develop a program for cooperation with the government aimed at helping Bulgaria provide protection and support for refugees.

He made clear that a technical team would be dispatched to Bulgaria next week to fulfill three main tasks – capacity-building of the State Agency for Refugees, making the procedure simpler and more accurate, speeding up the procedure for granting refugee status, and helping the government about different aspects of the refugee community.

“The Syrian society is suffering and it deserves our support,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said.

“There are 2.4 million Syrian refugees in other countries. Turkey currently has around 700 000 refugees. In Lebanon, Syrian refugees probably account for some 25% of the population. In this context, Europe’s solidarity is very important. It is important that European countries keep their borders open,” Guterres declared, vowing that the UN would mobilize its resources and capacity to take care of the most pressing needs.


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