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Bulgaria + 4 others
Bulgaria as a Country of Asylum

UNHCR says asylum conditions improved, warns against transfer of vulnerable people

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at the press briefing, on 15 April 2014, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

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Lebanon + 5 others
Half of refugees being served are children

By Edward Hoyt

In Syria, once the most stable country in the Arab world, civil war rages on. An estimated 6 million Syrians have been uprooted from their homes. More than 2.5 million people have poured into Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and neighboring countries. With women and children making up at least 70 percent of the refugees, the needs of children—many of whom are traumatized—are paramount.

Context

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World + 2 others
Common European Asylum System: challenges and perspectives

Cecilia Malmström
EU Commissioner for Home Affairs

Conference "The Common European Asylum System: challenges and perspectives"

Sofia, 24 March 2014

A Common European Asylum System

I will focus on a fundamental right that is very close to my heart, one that is easy to proclaim in theory, but more complicated to defend in practice: the right to asylum. I have dedicated a large part of my mandate to this issue.

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Bulgaria + 2 others
Bulgaria urged to halt border fence plan after Syrian influx

Report
AlertNet

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 12 Mar 2014 04:35 AM

Author: Emma Batha

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Bulgaria should immediately halt plans to build a $6.7 million fence along its border with Turkey, a Bulgarian human rights lawyer said, voicing shame over her country’s treatment of thousands of Syrians seeking asylum.

Read the full article on Alertnet

AlertNet:



For more humanitarian news and analysis, please visit www.trust.org/alertnet

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Bulgaria's struggle to deal with Syria refugees [video]

More than 6,000 refugees from the war in Syria have arrived in Bulgaria over the past year, after crossing the border from Turkey.

The displaced men, women and children have found safety in an EU nation, but it a country which is struggling to cope with the influx, as Chris Morris reports.

Watch the video on BBC

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Romania + 10 others
31 January 2014: Eastern / Central Europe – Severe Weather

SITUATION

In the last few days severe weather conditions (heavy snowfalls, low temperatures, rainfall) have hit parts of central and eastern Europe, in particular Romania and Bulgaria, causing power outages and transportation problems.

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Humanitarian Assistance in Review Europe, The Middle East, and Central Asia | Fiscal year (FY) 2004 – 2013

Natural disasters, including drought, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires, as well as ongoing complex emergencies and limited government capacity in the region, present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia (EMCA). Between FY 2004 and FY 2013, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided assistance in response to a range of disasters, including floods, wildfires, winter emergencies, and complex crises.

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Bulgaria + 1 other
Hot meals, housing bring cheer to Syrian refugees in Bulgaria

01/25/2014 04:28 GMT

by Diana SIMEONOVA

HARMANLI, January 25, 2014 (AFP) - Two months ago, hungry Syrian children were shuffling around barefoot in the snow in Bulgaria's biggest refugee camp, while their miserable parents shivered inside ragged tents.

But now the threadbare khaki tents have disappeared, families have moved into freshly-painted rooms and the United Nations is providing each refugee one hot meal a day.

Agence France-Presse:

©AFP: The information provided in this product is for personal use only. None of it may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the express permission of Agence France-Presse.

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Bulgaria + 2 others
Polish volunteers send tonnes of aid to Syrian refugees in Bulgaria

01/15/2014 21:53 GMT

WARSAW, January 15, 2014 (AFP) - Volunteers in Poland have collected 26 tonnes of aid including food and clothing for Syrian refugees in Bulgaria after the UN raised alarm over a "human emergency" on the EU's southern fringe.

"We used Facebook to spread word of the aid drive and the response just snowballed, it's been overwhelming -- we really didn't expect it," volunteer Michal Borkiewicz told AFP Thursday in Warsaw as a lorry loaded with supplies started the 1200 kilometre (750 mile) journey to the Harmanli refugee camp in south-eastern Bulgaria.

Agence France-Presse:

©AFP: The information provided in this product is for personal use only. None of it may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the express permission of Agence France-Presse.

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Bulgaria + 1 other
Bulgaria shamed over asylum-seekers

Report
Amnesty

Amnesty International welcomes the position of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) calling on European Union (EU) member states to halt transfers of asylum-seekers back to Bulgaria until April 2014.

“The position taken by the UNHCR highlights the shameful treatment of asylum seekers in Bulgaria,” said Barbora Cernusakova, Amnesty International’s Bulgaria researcher.

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Bulgaria + 1 other
UNHCR calls for temporary halt to Dublin transfers of asylum-seekers back to Bulgaria

This is a summary of what was said by the UNHCR spokesperson at today’s Palais des Nations press briefing in Geneva. Further information can be found on the UNHCR websites, www.unhcr.org and www.unhcr.fr, which should also be checked for regular media updates on non-briefing days.

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Bulgaria + 1 other
Bulgaria, Unready, Is Poor Host to Syrians

Report
New York Times

Bulgaria, Unready, Is Poor Host to Syrians

SOFIA, Bulgaria — During a recent visit to a bleak refugee center hastily set up in an abandoned military camp at Harmanli in southern Bulgaria, Iliana Savova, with the Bulgaria Helsinki Committee, a human rights group, shook her head in dismay as she surveyed a muddy, garbage-strewn field dotted with tents, small cabins and clusters of freezing Syrians.

Read the story on the New York Times

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Bulgaria + 1 other
Families find refuge and reconnection after a dangerous trip from Syria

The accommodation centre for refugees in Kovachevtsi, Bulgaria is a place of last resort; a home for those who would face persecution or other danger on return to their former homes. It is here that 37-year-old Mohammed, his wife Zahra and their four children found refuge from the fighting in Syria. They came to Bulgaria on 13 November.

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Bulgaria + 1 other
Syrian refugees face terrible conditions in Bulgaria

As the UK worries about an influx of Bulgarian migrants, Bulgaria, one of Europe’s poorest countries, is dealing with its own influx of migrants. As the war in Syria rages and access to Europe for refugees fleeing the conflict has become increasingly difficult, more and more people end up in Bulgaria seeking refuge.

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An international failure: The Syrian refugee crisis

Report
Amnesty

"Syria has become the great tragedy of this century – a disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history.” António Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on Syria, 3 September 2013.1

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Bulgaria + 1 other
Briefing: Refugees in Bulgaria trapped in substandard conditions

Report
Amnesty

INTRODUCTION

Since July 2013, Bulgarian media has began reporting on the rapidly growing numbers of refugees and migrants apprehended on the border with Turkey. Whereas the total number of people crossing the border irregularly was about 1,700 in 2012, it reached 10,200 in 2013.1 The numbers escalated in October 2013 when 3,600 refugees and migrants entered Bulgaria. Most of them were from Syria, the second largest group amongst them was Afghan nationals.

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Bulgaria + 1 other
UNHCR launches emergency operation to improve conditions for refugees and asylum seekers in Bulgaria

UNHCR is providing emergency assistance in Bulgaria to improve living conditions and the protection situation for refugees and asylum seekers there. Bulgaria is currently hosting some 8,800 asylum seekers and refugees, around two-thirds of them Syrians. Poor conditions at reception facilities are being worsened by the onset of winter. Normally Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest country, receives only around 1,000 asylum seekers and refugees a year.

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As Budget Shortfall, Insecurity Threaten Efforts of UN Agency for Palestine Refugees, 17 Member States Promise Funds at Pledging Conference

For 2014, the UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees had developed a core budget of $687 million with nearly zero growth, and a cash shortfall of 10 per cent was already anticipated.

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Bulgaria + 1 other
'Human emergency' for refugees in Bulgaria: UNHCR

12/03/2013 14:16 GMT

SOFIA, December 3, 2013 (AFP) - The UN refugee agency chief for Europe urged Bulgaria on Tuesday to respond swiftly to what he called a human emergency in shelters struggling with an influx of Syrians.

"It is a human emergency for the people in these centres. There will be no Christmas for them. Things need to happen in the next couple of weeks," Vincent Cochetel of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told journalists in Sofia.

"The situation is critical... The conditions are sub-standard but we are here to help."

Agence France-Presse:

©AFP: The information provided in this product is for personal use only. None of it may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the express permission of Agence France-Presse.

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Bulgaria + 1 other
Squalid camps, bleak prospects greet Syrians at EU's door

11/29/2013 03:30 GMT

by Diana SIMEONOVA

HARMANLI, November 29, 2013 (AFP) - As the first winter snows fell on Bulgaria this week, thousands of refugees crammed into makeshift camps -- many of them Syrians fleeing fighting in their country -- are rueing that Europe is not the haven they had hoped.

"If they keep us living in this tent in the snow, I'd rather go back to the war," Abd Al Jalil Bonja fumed at the Harmanli refugee camp in southeastern Bulgaria.

Agence France-Presse:

©AFP: The information provided in this product is for personal use only. None of it may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the express permission of Agence France-Presse.