Refugee Centers in Bulgaria House 3770 Refugees – Interim Agency Chair
Vasil Varbanov, interim Chair of Bulgaria’s State Agency for Refugees, has suggested that the entity needs restructuring.
In a Tuesday interview for the Bulgarian National Radio, Varbanov noted that the reorganization would allow the Agency to focus efforts on fast-tracking refugee status procedures and enhance activities related to the initial stages of refugee integration.
He argued that the situation at the State Agency for Refugees had improved substantially from the same period of 2013, stressing that the entity had solved a number of problems related to accommodation and food supply.
Varbanov also informed that the capacity of the officials involved in refugee status procedures had increased, adding that the deadlines could be shortened further.
He said that around 3770 refugees were staying at accommodation centers across the country and that the living conditions there were very good.
Varbanov stated that the number of asylum seekers in December 2013 had been 650, compared to 1285 in December 2014.
The interim Chair of the State Agency for Refugees said that the procedures for awarding a status lasted around 1-6 months, depending on the country of origin of the refugees.
He boasted that the Agency had successfully absorbed the resources granted under the European Refugee Fund, especially the funding allocated to special measures, with 98.5% of the sum absorbed by the deadline of end-April 2014.
Varbanov said that the State Refugee Agency needed money to improve the organization of classes and cultural activities at the accommodation centers.
He informed that only 29 out of 835 children were attending classes and explained the statistics with the desire of their parents to be awarded refugee status and obtain the right to travel abroad for 3 months, as well as due to problems with the legislative framework.
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