Bulgaria Extends Humanitarian Placement Program for Ukrainian Refugees
The Bulgarian government has extended the state support scheme for the placement of individuals who have received temporary protection and sought refuge from the Russian-Ukrainian war until the end of September 2023.
The official website of the Bulgarian Government Information Service reported this on the eve of the extension. According to the statement, host individuals accommodating Ukrainian refugees will continue to receive 15 lev (approximately $8) per person per day, as reported by The Sofia Globe.
These funds can be used in specific registered accommodation places listed in the National Tourism Registry after individuals seeking temporary protection pass through buffer centers.
Earlier, the Bulgarian government tasked the ministers of labor and social policy, as well as education and science, with developing proposals for specific integration measures to be included in the new government integration program for refugees within a month.
The program was introduced in 2022 by the then-government of Kiril Petkov shortly after Russia's invasion of Ukraine and provided state support for the placement of Ukrainian refugees, specifically those to whom Bulgaria granted temporary protection in accordance with EU directives.
The program has been extended multiple times, although the interim government appointed by President Rumen Radev has reduced the scale of support.
According to the latest updated information on the special portal of the Bulgarian government for Ukrainian refugees in Bulgaria, since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, over 1.41 million refugees from Ukraine have entered Bulgaria. Currently, there are a total of 82,473 individuals remaining in the country, with 16,804 accommodated under the humanitarian placement program. Tens of thousands of refugees have left Bulgaria due to the lack of conditions for their adaptation.
Earlier, the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior detected certain abuses and violations in the implementation of programs for the placement of Ukrainian refugees by owners of Bulgarian hotels who registered more people than they actually accommodated in order to receive higher payouts from the state.
It is worth noting that Bulgaria recently approved a new package of military assistance to Ukraine. Bulgarian Defense Minister Todor Tagarev stated that Bulgaria and the Black Sea region will be secure when the last Russian occupant leaves Ukraine's borders and the aggressive intentions of the Kremlin are blocked.