Medical Assistance to Refugees from Camps in Sofia

Project location: BULGARIA, Sofia
Project start date: December 2013 - Project end date: December 2014
Project number: 2013-054
Beneficiary: Embassy of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Bulgaria


Because of the Syrian crisis, the number of refugees in Bulgaria has been rapidly increasing.
The actual number of refugees only in Sofia is around 3000 persons. Since January 2013, more than 6500 people applied for refugee status.
The main refugee’s camp is based In the capital city Sofia with over 1000 persons. In the summer of 2013 two new camps were opened in Sofia, in two old schools as well as some other camps in the country, near the Bulgarian-Turkish border.
Syrians families are situated mainly in theses news camps where the infrastructures (clean water, WC, heating system etc.) are missing or are vary damaged.
After the first month of staying in Bulgaria, the refugees receive 65 leva BGN (equal of 33 euro) per month for all their needs - food, clothes, medical assistance, if needed, etc… 
Normally each camp is supposed to have one doctor and one nurse, but the State Agency for Refugees have not enough staff and finally there are procedures for new employees. The main urgent matter now is to provide food for the refugees.

The State Agency for the Refugees is not yet able to provide fully the necessary assistance and is searching help from other countries through the net of Diplomats accredited to Bulgaria. The Embassy of the Order of Malta is answering to the demand of the Authorities providing what is possible through its own channels - like offering with local collaborators everyday hot meal in two of the Sofia camps, different supplies etc.
The demand of giving assistance to the refugees by the Embassy of the Order of Malta, as a well-known partner, was asked also from the local Catholic and Orthodox Authorities.
The situation is very dynamic and the Embassy is following carefully the situation.

In the last 7 years, the Embassy is providing medicines and medical instruments and supplies to the Day Hospital “John Paul II” situated closely to the biggest Refugee’s camp in Sofia.
The project proposes to offer limited number of specialized medical visits in the Day Hospital “John Paul II” for the more needy refugees.
With the assistance of the State Agency for Refugees and the embassy’s volunteers net,  “tickets” will be offered in the camps for the more needy people.
The medium cost of one visit is calculated at around 25 euro. The translation costs goes to 30 euro for three hours for a person able to translate in mother tongue and in charge of staying with the needy refugee to and during the medical visit. The total costs of one specialized medical visit come to 55 euro.
The project, which received a grant from the Nando Peretti Foundation, aims to provide  300 specialized medical visits for refugees in the Day Hospital “John Paul II” for the period of 10 or 11 moths. It is about one visit per day for a year.

The project will offer an answer to one very specific and important aspect of the numerous needs of the refugees that the State Agency for the Refugees will hopefully meet in the future.

Embassy of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Bulgaria
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