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19 May 2022

Bulgaria: Blue Dot hubs support those fleeing Ukraine

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Several Blue Dot hubs and Light Blue Dot hubs have opened in Bulgaria in the last 2 weeks. The initiative is coordinated by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in cooperation with the Bulgarian Red Cross, the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, the Council of Refugee Women Bulgaria and the refugee community.

Blue Dot hubs are being set up in countries that receive Ukrainian refugees, such as Moldova, Poland, Romania, Belarus, and others. They aim to offer space for the provision of information, legal advice, psychosocial support, identification and referral to services for children, women, families and other groups at risk while fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. A Light Blue Dot hub does not offer services, however, refugees can receive information there. The Blue Dot hubs complement governmental support and are established in coordination with state authorities and other stakeholders on key transit routes and in key destinations.

The Bulgarian hubs are located at the headquarters of the Bulgarian Red Cross in Sofia, at the Emergency Centre in Sofia Central Station, and at the border checkpoints in Durankulak and Ruse. Similar centres are also being set up in Varna and Burgas in the coming weeks.

According to the latest governmental data, Bulgaria has already received more than 267 000 Ukrainian refugees. Approximately 102 000 of these have stayed in the country, rather than transiting through it. Data shows that 92 % of them are women and children, and that therefore more targeted support is needed to prevent gender-based violence, human trafficking, fraud, psychological trauma and family separation.

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Bulgaria
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Posted by
Bistra Ivanova
Country Coordinator

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