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National Activity Plan 2006: Bulgaria
World Refugee Day, 20 June 2006
- "Refugees for Clean Sofia": A community initiative by refugees and refugee-assisting organisations will clean the streets in the area of the government Agency for Refugees (18 June).
- Themed radio and TV spots will be broadcast.
- A drawing competition "Give HOPE to refugees in Bulgaria" will be held in collaboration with SAR, UNA and UNDP. Exhibit the drawings at charity sales in two private galleries.
- Six thousand free cards using the World Refugee Day 2006 poster text and the awarded drawing will be distributed.
- As a wrap-up of the results of a survey project on media attitudes on refugee issues, implemented with the Centre for Independent Journalism, a press briefing will be held on 19 June to announce and discuss the results of the survey, and on World Refugee Day.
- UNHCR concerned by border practices after deaths of two Iraqis at the Bulgaria-Turkey border
- Bureaucracy threatens the dream of enterprising refugees in Bulgaria
- Bulgarians urged to "see refugees through new eyes" in media campaign
- UNHCR chief urges Europe to help Bulgaria cope with Syrian refugee influx
- Bulgaria struggles to cope with Syrian influx at dilapidated camp
UNHCR country pages
The Children of Harmanli Face a Bleak Winter
Since the Syrian crisis began in March 2011, more than 2 million people have fled the violence. Many have made their way to European Union countries, finding sanctuary in places like Germany and Sweden. Others are venturing into Europe by way of Bulgaria, where the authorities struggle to accommodate and care for some 8,000 asylum-seekers, many of whom are Syrian. More than 1,000 of these desperate people, including 300 children, languish in an overcrowded camp in the town of Harmanli, 50 kilometres from the Turkish-Bulgarian border. These people crossed the border in the hope of starting a new life in Europe. Some have travelled in family groups; many have come alone with dreams of reuniting in Europe with loved ones; and still others are unaccompanied children. The sheer number of people in Harmanli is taxing the ability of officials to process them, let alone shelter and feed them. This photo essay explores the daily challenges of life in Harmanli.