Official: More than 23,000 Ukrainians have applied for temporary protection in Bulgaria

According to the March 30 update on the government’s dedicated website, a total of 23,005 Ukrainians have so far registered for temporary protection in Bulgaria.

The update said that since February 24 – the start of the current invasion of Ukraine by Russia on Vladimir Putin’s orders – a total of 130,369 Ukrainians have entered Bulgaria, with 59,665 remaining in the country.

22,000 were children, the update said.

The Bulgarian government said in a statement that on March 30 the cabinet decided to extend until March 15 the possibility for persons with foreign citizenship or stateless persons who left Ukraine as a result of hostilities and who entered and stayed in Bulgaria April to extend to obtain a temporary residence protection without their express will and registration of temporary protection.

“With this, both the people who have not yet received the status and the hoteliers who have accommodated them can be sure that they receive support from the state,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the capacity of institutions to issue registration cards is gradually increasing, the statement said.

In the past four days alone, 40 new registration centers for temporary protection of people fleeing the war in Ukraine have been opened in the country.

There are new registration offices in Blagoevgrad, Bourgas, Varna, Vratsa, Dobrich, Kurdzhali, Kyustendil, Lovech, Pleven, Plovdiv, Razgrad, Rousse, Silistra, Sliven, Smolyan, Stara Zagora and Yambol districts.

In addition, 25 mobile teams have been trained to visit the hottest spots and issue registration cards for temporary on-site protection, the statement said.

A new registration hall at 91 Maria Louisa Boulevard in Sofia was also opened.

In an area of ​​200 square meters, 10 places are fully occupied, five more are to be added in the coming days, the message said.

About 500 people per day can be cared for at this point alone, about a family of four who receive temporary protection in less than half an hour, the statement said.

The opening hours of the hall are currently from 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Preparations are currently underway for a 12-hour two-shift system.

Twelve points for accepting Ukrainians in Bulgaria are open 24/7 – in Burgas, Nessebar, Primorsko, Albena Resort, Balchik, General Toshevo, Durankulak, Dobrich, Kavarna, Shabla, Rousse Danube Bridge and Sofia Central Railway Station.

Separately, the number of people who have fled Ukraine because of Russia’s war against the country has surpassed four million, according to figures released March 30 by the UN refugee agency.

The agency said more than 2.3 million went to Poland, 608,936 to Romania, 387,151 to Moldova, 364,804 to Hungary, 350,632 to Russia and 281,172 to Slovakia.

(Figure: UNHCR)

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