site.btaUPDATED Bulgarian Government Preparing Package of Measures for People in Coal Regions
The government is preparing a package of measures for supporting some 25,000 people in Bulgaria's coal regions, who will be directly impacted by the green transition, Labour and Social Policy Minister Ivanka Shalapatova said in a BTA interview. The package even includes measures for the families of these workers, she added.
The Minister is in Dubai for events organized by the Bulgarian pavilion during the COP28 climate conference.
"We are working together with the Ministries of Energy, of Regional Development and Public Works, of Environment and Water, so that we have a large social package related with the future work opportunities of the people and also with social support to prevent an adverse impact on their families," said Shalapatova.
She was adamant that there are lots of work opportunities for the workers in the coal regions.
The Minister also said: "The social system in Bulgaria faces a number of challenges to cope with the extremely serious effect of climate change on people's quality of life. So far, the social protection system has evolved in such a way that very often it is reactive rather than proactive and preventive. For this reason, the government's priority is to develop policies and implement measures that prevent risks for people rather than investing in resources when a risk has already materialized. We should do that too, but it is more expensive and less effective."
Shalapatova outlined the challenges that the social system faces in adapting to climate change - a large percentage of the population living in poverty and especially the 26% of children at risk of poverty and social exclusion, and the vulnerable position this puts them in when a natural disaster strikes.