Bulgaria’s State Agency for Refugees is registering more asylum seekers

In September 2016, the State Agency for Refugees (SAR) published that it registered 2,776 people asylum seekers during August, 1,543 asylum seekers more than it registered in July. From January the 1st until August the 31st, the SAR granted refugee status to 376 people and 302 got humanitarian status, 597 people were refused. Until the end of August, 11,952 people were registered by the SAR to have sought ‚protection‘ in Bulgaria in 2016.

In the refugee camps the number of people, who are staying there, is rising. The head of the SAR, Petya Purvanova, said on September the 16th that ninety-three per cent of the capacity of the refugee centers is filled. The news agency Novinite reported recently that in the detention center of Busmantsi there are now 1,631 persons, which is an occupancy rate of 174% . Lately, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) released the information that from the 2nd-8th of September 664 migrants have entered Bulgaria. According to the MoI 12,500 migrants in total, mainly from Afghanistan, were arrested in 2016. The increasing numbers of asylum seekers is rising, because the Bulgarian authorities have strengthen their controls. By now, the EU border agency Frontex has already deployed a total of 173 officers in Bulgaria.

This week, Bulgaria has asked for a 160 million euro aid from the European Commission for protecting and surveilling its borders. Already in August 2016, the European Commission announced that it has granted Bulgaria 72.7 million € for the security of the country’s borders, from the EU’s Internal Security Fund (ISF), during the next five years. By the end of this week, the European Commission announced up to 108 million € “in emergency funding to Bulgaria to improve border and migration management“. The Commission announced also to proceed “further emergency applications“ for an additional amount of  52 million €. Already 12 million € were awarded to the country before, to respond to the ‚migration crisis‘ in order to provide “accommodation, food and medical supplies to migrants and to provide equipment to the Bulgarian border guards.“

Update: On October the 6th, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency was launched at Bulgaria’s Kapitan Andreevo Border Checkpoint.

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