Sofia, September 2, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Clive Leviev-Sawyer of The Sofia Globe
The Bulgarian Red Cross is renting housing for refugees, with European funds being used to ensure payment of the monthly rent.
The project, being carried out in terms of an agreement between the Bulgarian Red Cross and the State Agency for Refugees, does not cover all migrants but only people who already have been granted refugee status or humanitarian protection in Bulgaria.
Status of this kind entitles people to reside in the country legally and to receive identity documents.
Mariana Stoyanova, head of the migration service of the Bulgarian Red Cross, told public broadcaster Bulgarian National Radio on September 2 that in State Agency for Refugees centres, there were between 700 and 800 people who had such status for several months but had not been able to move to an external address.
The centres are for new arrivals, and to make space available, the European Commission had granted funds to the State Agency for Refugees so that people could move to addresses outside the centres.
The agreement on the rental of accommodation was signed on July 21 by the head of the Bulgarian Red Cross, Hristo Grigorov, and State Agency for Refugees head Nikola Kazakov. The agreement is in effect until June 15 2016.
In terms of the agreement, the agency provides the Bulgarian Red Cross a list of people granted protection in Bulgaria.
By signing the agreement with the State Agency for Refugees, the Bulgarian Red Cross became co-recipient of the funds from the European Commission.