Bulgaria’s government has approved additional spending of BGN 5M (EUR 2.5M) to back activities of the State Agency for Refugees stemming from increased migratory pressure. The additional expenditure under the Interior Ministry budget will be used to provide food to asylum seekers, maintain security at reception centers as well as cover the cost of operations of the agency’s branches in the country, the cabinet said in a statement following a weekly meeting.
Part of the additional financing will go toward establishing an Inter-agency Coordination Center to better combat smuggling of goods and exercise control of movement of high-risk cargo.
The cabinet also decided to increase the staff of the refugee agency by 100 officers in response to the new challenges posed by an ongoing rise in the number of applicants for protection in Bulgaria, according to the statement.
The additional staff will get paid from EU funds until June 14 next year under an agreement with the EU Commission for the implementation of asylum, migration and integration activities, which the government signed in May of this year.