National forum "Protection and Integration of Refugees in the Context of COVID-19" in Sofia
On 18 November 2020, UNHCR, Bulgarian Council for Refugees and Migrants and Multi Kulti Collective organized a national forum "Protection and Integration of Refugees in the Context of COVID-19" in Sofia.
The event was attended by 30 participants from the refugee community, international organizations, ministries and agencies, municipalities, NGOs, universities, socially responsible companies as well as researchers. The purpose of the meeting was to create space for sharing and debating challenges and good practices in the field of refugee integration during the current COVID-19 crisis, as well as to outline the way forward. The program included several topics - International and national dimensions of the pandemic and responses to refugee protection and integration, Protection and integration of refugees in the context of COVID-19 in Bulgaria, Cooperation with academia for building a supportive environment for the protection and integration of refugees. Among the speakers were: Dr. Mihail Okoliyski from the World Health Organization office in Bulgaria, Dr. Angel Kunchev – Ministry of Health, Suzanne Klink from the UNHCR's Regional Bureau for Europe, Mariana Stoyanova from the Bulgarian Red Cross, Ivan Cheresharov from Caritas Sofia, Dr. Sagar Al-Anezi from the UNHCR Refugee Advisory Board, Dr, Stanislav Georgiev from the Regional Department of Education in Sofia, Anelia Dimitrova from Catro Bulgaria, Vanya Ivanova from Bulgarian Academy of Science.
The event was organized within the projects "Advocacy for the Integration of Refugees in Bulgaria" funded by UNHCR and "NIEM - National Integration Evaluation Mechanism " funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the EU.