No free breakfast for asylum-seekers in Bulgaria

Just until recently, asylum-seekers in Bulgaria received 65 BGN (33EUR) a month  as part of the state’s social welfare designated to people in need. We are worried to learn however, that even this moderate social provision will be taken away from those seeking protection as of April 1st. This is part of the government’s efforts to both make Bulgaria unattractive destination but also because of the severe socio-economic situation in the country, which deepens exclusion by the day.

Nikolay Kazakov, the head of the State Agency for Refugees commented that the government’s only obligation towards asylum-seekers is to provide them with the so-called “social minimum” as it also applies to Bulgarian citizens. In addition to the free lunches and suppers , from April 1st those who are accommodated in the state agency’s center will receive free breakfast as well. According to Kazakov this meets the requirements as set by the Bulgarian state and international norms.

Bordermonitoring Bulgaria (BMB) is extremely worried that such move will bear great social costs. Already the situation of those who seek asylum is unbearable. As Bulgaria is experiencing a social catastrophy of unseen proportions, we call for immediate suspension of the Dublin Agreement and all other return bilateral agreements that can threaten the physical survival of asylum-seekers and status-holders in Bulgaria. We further call for general revision of the Dublin policies, which continue to jeopardize thousands.

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