UNHCR: Bulgaria Needs to Do More for Refugees
Bulgaria must swiftly restructure its efforts to mount an adequate reaction to the increased refugee wave to the country, said UNHCR Europe director Vincent Cochetel.
"The solution of the urgent humanitarian problem with people in Bulgarian refugee camps cannot be postponed," said Cochetel in Sofia Tuesday.
"Something must happen in the coming weeks. The situation is critial," added the UN Refugees Agency Europe director.
Some 11,000 refugees, most of them from civil war-torn Syria, have arrived in Bulgaria, the EU's poorest member state, since the start of 2013.
During a recent visit to Bulgaria, UNHCR high commissioner Antonio Guterres expressed dissatisfaction with conditions of life in Bulgarian refugee camps, but promised technical help to the Bulgarian government.
In his statement Tuesday, UNHCR Europe director Cochetel advised Bulgarian authorities to manage the country's borders in a way that ensures international protection to asylum seekers.
He also condemned recent cases of hate speech and attacks against refugees and other immigrants in Bulgaria.