IsraAID to send team to Bulgaria to help Syrian refugees

Answering international appeal, mission to assist Sofia in aiding 11,000 displaced by civil war

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

Syrian refugees in Bulgaria (photo credit: Youtube screenshot)
Syrian refugees in Bulgaria (photo credit: Youtube screenshot)

IsraAID, an Israeli civilian disaster relief organization, will send a team to Bulgaria on Monday to help the country with its growing Syrian refugee population, which presently stands at 11,000.

The mission will provide food and supplies, as well as assist the authorities in constructing a program to improve the psycho-social wellbeing of the refugees, the organization said.

The Bulgarian government issued an appeal to the international community after struggling to feed and house the thousands of Syrians who had fled to the country via Turkey.

The brutal war in Syria between the regime and its foes shows no sign of abating and has killed at least 146,000 people since it erupted in mid-March 2011. Some 2.5 million Syrians have fled abroad and another 6.5 million have been internally displaced by the conflict.

The refugees in Bulgaria are currently housed in overcrowded camps, with limited access to basic amenities and living under poor hygienic conditions.

The program, sponsored by B’nai B’rith International and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and implemented in conjunction with The Shai Fund, marks the first IsraAID mission to Europe.

AFP contributed to this report.

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