The Chairman of the State Agency for Refugees, ASA and SIA hosted the Board for Advocacy and Inclusion of Refugees

The Bulgarian School of Politics organized three meetings with representatives of institutions for the Refugee Advocacy and Inclusion Board. The purpose of the working visits is for the newly established Board to become familiar with the work of key state and municipal agencies, which will help it in its future work with this group of people in Bulgaria.

The Chairperson of the State Agency for Refugees (SAR) Mariana Tosheva, the Acting Director of the Directorate “Quality of the International Protection Procedure” at SAR Lachezar Petrov, Kalina Yotova – senior expert at the Directorate “Social Activities and Adaptation” and Emilia Georgieva – state expert at the Directorate “International Activity” spoke to the members of the Board about the system for asylum in Bulgaria. They also explained the structure of SAR, provided information on the number and capacity of refugee accommodation facilities in our country, and drew attention to the types of procedures. In the subsequent discussion, the chairman and the experts also answered specific questions of the members of the Board.

The next meeting was at the “Invest Sofia” Municipal Agency. The members of the Board were introduced to “Jobs in Sofia” platform by the main experts from the “Investment Analysis” Department, Yoanna Dragneva and Georgi Brezin. Through “Jobs in Sofia”, any foreign citizen who wants to settle in Sofia and the country can look for a job by filling in information and apply for job vacancies that “Invest Sofia” business partners announce on the platform. The site is available in Ukrainian, Russian, English and Bulgarian and was created by the Metropolitan Municipality and “Invest Sofia” in the first days after the start of the war in Ukraine.

Inna Veder – Director of the Main Directorate “Social Support”, Rumyana Boyadzhieva – Chief Expert in the “Social and Family Assistance” Department, Miglena Miteva – Head of the “Social Services” Department, Blagovest Stoilov – Chief Expert in the “Child Protection” Directorate and Tsveti Pironkova – chief expert in the “Social Services for Adults” Department were the experts from the Agency for Social Assistance (ASA) who met with the members of the Board for Advocacy and Inclusion of Refugees. The representatives of the Board had the opportunity to receive information on a wide range of issues related to the conditions for social assistance of refugees in Bulgaria. This was also the last of a total of five working visits for the Refugee Advocacy and Inclusion Board.

The working visits to Bulgarian institutions are part of the ““Partnership for Sustainable Refugee Inclusion” project. It is implemented by the Center for Sustainable Communities Development and the Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza” with the financial support provided by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria within the EEA Financial Mechanism.