site.btaJust Under 500 Ukrainians Currently at Bulgaria's Buffer Centres - Deputy PM Konstantinova
Currently the buffer centres to which Ukrainian refugees are relocated host just under 500 people and all of them will be transported to other hospitable places within the next 24 hours, said the Deputy Prime Minister for Good Governance Kalina Konstantinova during a hearing of the Ministers in Parliament on Thursday.
The Government set up a programme for accommodating displaced people from Ukraine at State-owned holiday facilities in the mountain resorts after May 31 in a bid to help seaside hotels that took in refugees to go back to their usual business in the summer. There are temporary centres in Sarafovo, on the Black Sea, and in the town of Elhovo, Southeastern Bulgaria.
“The buffer centre in Elhovo will most likely shut down [on Friday], because it is not needed,” Konstantinova said and added that currently the centre in Elhovo is hosting about 200 people. “If need be, new groups of Ukrainian refugees will be welcomed at the centre in Sarafovo. From there they will be relocated to the resorts in the country where they can stay until August 31.”
When asked about the support that the EU should offer, Konstantinova stated that so far, no funds have been allocated for any particular member state to handle the refugee crisis. Instead, the Union is offering flexibility that allows for unspent funds from previous programmes to be reallocated to the crisis at hand. The Deputy Prime Minister said that these funds amount to BGN 150 million, out of which BGN 52 million has already been paid to hoteliers.
Konstantinova said that on May 27 BGN 12 million has been directed to the Bulgarian Red Cross, district administrations, and NGOs, among others. Another BGN 12.7 million was paid to the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy this week and is meant to boost employment.