Switzerland Provides CHF 8 M for Roma Integration in Bulgaria

Society | June 23, 2015, Tuesday // 13:05
Bulgaria: Switzerland Provides CHF 8 M for Roma Integration in Bulgaria Photo: BGNES

Swiss Ambassador to Bulgaria Denis Knobel and Bulgarian Social Minister Ivaylo Kalfin signed agreements with the municipalities of Burgas, Ruse and Sliven that will be aimed at stimulating the social inclusion of Roma and other vulnerable ethnic groups.

" All of the people living in Bulgaria need to be included in the social life, education, professional training and work activities, regardless of their ethnic group,'' Kalfin stated at a news conference Tuesday. He commented on the recent ethnic turmoil across Bulgaria, when people were injured and even admitted to hospital following ethnic fights.

On his part, Swiss ambassador Knobel stated that ''this type of engagement to the minorities is very important and that's why we are focusing on the Roma community in Bulgaria.''

In his words, the minority suffers several forms of social exclusion connected with improper education, poverty and poor healthcare. He added that this time concrete results will be demanded through the Swiss-sponsored program.

''We would like to invest in future generations, providing them with access to primary school education and basic healthcare,'' Knobel said. ''We would like them to become full-right citizens of the country but also to comply with the rights and obligations that they have as such.''

Reportedly, the funding will be invested in new kindergartens, healthcare facilities and will allow the Roma community to get better access to social services.

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Tags: Switzerland, Bulgaria, Roma, community, ethnic tensions, Ivaylo Kalfin, Denis Knobel, Inclusion, ambassador, social services, healthcare, education
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