'Refugee' Humanitarian Aid from EU Arrives in Bulgaria
Bulgaria will receive humanitarian aid from the European Union to deal with the influx of refugees from Syria.
Support is provided by Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia and Austria and is coordinated by the European Commission. It includes over 2000 beds and mattresses, over 4,200 blankets and other necessities such as sheets, towels, kitchen utensils and appliances, announced the Representation of the European Commission (EC) in Bulgaria.
"I thank the countries that offered support in such a short time. Bulgaria does what it can to cope with the influx of refugees. Assistance provided by the European Commission and member states is proof that Bulgaria is not alone in this difficult time," said Kristalina Georgieva, Bulgaria's European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
The humanitarian assistance from Slovakia and Hungary has already arrived in Bulgaria and the one from Slovenia and Austria is expected in coming days.
Bulgaria has the capacity to accommodate about 5 000, while nearly 8 000 refugees have arrived in the country since the beginning of 2013, with local authorities expecting the number to exceed 11 000 by the end of the year. Some even forecast 15 000 to 19 000.
Security at the border has been upped by border police from other parts of the country. Additional staff to process documents has been sent as well. The country is also considering building a wire fence on the Turkish border.
Bulgaria is the gateway to the European Union for refugees fleeing Syria via Turkey, many crossing the border illegally to seek asylum.
The country has asked and was promised EU aid in order to deal with the ongoing refugee influx.
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