Bulgaria’s humanitarian aid fundraiser for Ukraine is approaching the million leva mark

A fundraiser by the Bulgarian Red Cross in cooperation with the Bulgarian government has raised more than 920,000 leva (about 470,000 euros) in three days, the Bulgarian Red Cross announced on March 3.

The organization said that on March 3, the fifth of a series of trucks carrying humanitarian aid to Ukraine left the Bulgarian Red Cross headquarters in Sofia.

The cargo includes warm clothing and blankets, winter shoes, bed linen and hygiene items.

Humanitarian aid will be handed over to the Ukrainian Red Cross to help those in need.

The campaign for in-kind donations for humanitarian aid will continue every day of the week, including days off, the organization said.

See below for details on how to donate this link.

The Bulgarian Interior Ministry said on March 3 that since February 24 – the day the current invasion of Ukraine ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin was launched – a total of more than 16,000 Ukrainian citizens crossed the border from Romania to Bulgaria would have exceeded.

45 Ukrainians had applied for humanitarian protection upon arrival at the border.

Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, speaking to reporters at the Shipka summit, confirmed that Bulgaria would send humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

The government is also working specifically to support Ukrainian refugees, Petkov said.

“Bulgaria has never had a good refugee policy, but it’s time to have one because these people need our help and Bulgaria needs people like them,” he said.

Petkov urged the Bulgarians not to believe lies and hybrid attacks, such as fuel shortage rumors spread on social media.

He said the panic on the issue was deliberately created for political reasons to destabilize the government.

Bulgarians should not indulge in provocations and seek information from official sources, Petkov said.

Bulgarian Defense Chief Admiral Emil Evtimov said the military is closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine with heightened vigilance.

Bulgaria’s new Defense Minister Dragomir Zakov said: “The Bulgarian army will remain and will always be the guarantor of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Bulgaria,” reported the Bulgarian National Radio.

In other news in Bulgaria related to the war between Russia and Ukraine, the district governor of Montana called a meeting of the district crisis management team for March 8.

The participants of the meeting were asked to report on arrangements and resources to help people coming from Ukraine. In the past week, many counties and municipalities in Bulgaria have taken steps to help refugees and evacuees.

In Moldova, Oliver Varhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, announced on March 3 that the EU would allocate 15 million euros in aid to deal with the refugee crisis and 5 million euros in humanitarian aid to provide emergency aid to Ukrainian citizens.

Speaking in Chisinau, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that Moldova had allowed safe passage for more than 100,000 refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine last week.

Borrell said Moldova has given shelter to mothers and more than 20,000 children who fled the bombings in Ukraine.

“Regarding electricity, we are currently examining support for energy security in Moldova and the country’s convergence with the European Union electricity grid, and we hope for a speedy assessment by the European network (ENSTO-E),” he said.

“We will support Moldova to strengthen Moldova’s cybersecurity,” Borrell said.

“An expert mission is already here, in Chisinau, as we speak to assess needs and identify concrete support measures that can be implemented in the very short term.

“Second, we will use our European Peace Facility to provide Moldovan forces with medical equipment and support in the event of a crisis. We will discuss options for additional support and logistics today if needed,” he said.

During her visit to Bucharest, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that Romania had taken in nearly 150,000 people who left Ukraine and given them food and shelter.

“The Romanians have set such a moving example for the world,” von der Leyen said.

“But Romania not only welcomes the refugees, it also helps its neighbors like Moldova.

“They provided power generators, for example, which is extremely important for Moldova. Romania shipped medicines to Ukraine. You are a shining example of European solidarity and for that I really want to acknowledge and thank you,” von der Leyen said.

For the rest of The Sofia Globe‘s ongoing coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, please click here.

(Photo: Bulgarian Red Cross)

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