Georgieva: EU has approved financial aid to help Bulgaria cope with refugee situation

Georgieva: EU has approved financial aid to help Bulgaria cope with refugee situation

 

By Clive Leviev – Sawyer of The Sofia Globe

Bulgaria’s European Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, whose portfolio includes humanitarian aid and crisis response, said on October 20 that Bulgaria would in a matter of days receive EU financial assistance to cope with the refugee situation in the country.

Speaking to Bulgarian National Radio, Georgieva did not specify the size of the sum, which is still being finalised, but said that it would be substantial.

Georgieva said that at the moment work was being done to adjust the allocation for Bulgaria for 2014-2016 in the light of the changed situation in the country.

She said that in the coming six months, the funds would be released jointly with technical assistance in using the money properly.

At the same time, she said that in 2013, Bulgaria had received 15 million euro from the European Commission to support security at the borders, but these funds had not been used as intended.

Earlier, the new head of Bulgaria’s State Agency for Refugees said that he would order an investigation into how funding for the agency had been used.

She cautioned that the Syrian crisis would not end soon and the numbers of refugees entering the country would continue to increase.

“This means that we should get ready not only to help the refugees for a couple of months but to help them live and, if possible, earn their living on their own in Bulgaria,” Georgieva said.

She also issued an appeal not to politicize the refugee issue in Bulgaria, given that a huge majority of the refugees were fleeing the horrors of war.

Separately, the Interior Ministry said that the Slovak ambassador to Bulgaria, Marian Yakubotsi, would deliver aid under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to Bulgaria.

(Photo: EC Audiovisual Service)