Vasilka Kamenova, Deputy Director General with the Bulgarian Red Cross, in an interview with Radio FOCUS’s morning broadcast Good morning, Bulgaria
Host: Ms. Kamenova, in which regions of the country the distribution of food from intervention reserves is still continuing and in which regions the campaign has already ended?
Vsilka Kamenova: The distribution of food products is still valid in all the regions of the country, as in some districts, the distribution of food to individual beneficiaries has already ended. As we announced, the distribution will continue until tomorrow. The term, which we have set as final, would be January 31st, when the entire programme should be entirely finalised.
Host: What are the current results from this campaign showing? Were there any unlooked-for people and what was the reason for that? What happened to them?
Vsilka Kamenova: With accordance to the effective information that we used to gather daily from our colleagues from all over the country, the average percentage of distribution among individual beneficiaries is 86%. Both today and tomorrow, we expect this percentage to increase a bit, but not by much. The reasons for some people to not appear and seek their food products are various. I exclude the lack of information as a reason, because thanks to you, the media, we have managed to implement such a large-scale information campaign, that nobody left uninformed with regard to the distribution of food products. I cannot tell why these people didn’t show up. Unfortunately, one percent of them died while the campaign was still valid. But in one way or another, the remaining products would be distributed as well, as I already mentioned, to the institutional beneficiaries. As every year, the absorption would be 100%. As in previous years, we would never tolerate absorption less than 100% and this year there will be no undistributed products as well.
Host: You mentioned that the food will be distributed to institutions. What kind of institutions would be able to receive this food?
Vsilka Kamenova: The institutions are included in Ordinance ¹ 18, which specifies the execution of the programme for intervention reserves in the country. The institutions are: specialised national or municipal institutions that provide social services with accordance to the regulations for enforcing the Social Assistance Act, using social services consigned by the country or the municipalities with accordance to another item included in the regulations, special schools for children with disabilities, accommodated in school-based mental health care facilities. The institutions are numerous. In practice, we are talking about all institutions, in which we find vulnerable people, regardless of their age – children and adults.
Host: Let us remind to the audience the criteria for receiving such an assistance from concrete beneficiaries, individual beneficiaries.
Vasilka Kamenova: Currently, the beneficiaries are divided into 6 groups- individuals, who have already received target assistance from the country for the last heating season; mothers or adoptive mothers, who have no social insurances and who, over the past year, have received monthly sustenance for a child under 1 year; individuals, who over the past calendar year, have received additional financial assistance for raising a child with disabilities. Families, who, over the past calendar, have received year single-target assistance for covering part of their expenditures in the beginning of the year; individuals, who were taking care of people with disabilities and individuals who, over the past calendar, have received single-target assistance with regard to a concrete case. Maybe, in advance, it would be good for me to mention and share some information about the current year. In 2013, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy plans to expand the circle of beneficiaries. As far as I know, the Ministry is already preparing a suggestion – to be included additional groups of beneficiaries. Therefore, the circle of people receiving such assistance is growing and expanding.
Host: Ms. Kamenova, the job of the Bulgarian Red Cross is unresting and I am certain that although the current food distribution is still valid, you are making plans for the next year’s tranche. At what stage are the current negotiations? When to expect the next distribution of foods?
Vasilka Kamenova: Yes, you are absolutely right, the preparation started a month ago. The contract between the Bulgarian Red Cross and the State Fund Agriculture has already been signed. The types of products, which would be distributed in 2013, have been selected and approved. The number of products is 11 and if you are interested, I can tell you the exact types of products. We have currently agreed with the State Fund Agriculture for a distribution, which would be realised in three tranches. The first one would be valid from August 1 until August 23, the second – from September 16 until October 4 and the last one – from October 28 until November 22. I would like to remind that the essential part of this process depends on the public tenders and the deliveries of the products. As an organisation, which is obliged to secure the logistics – we are fully prepared and ready. We have a 5-year experience and whatever depends on us – will be done. Everything depends on the accurate delivery of the products, namely, whether they would reach the storages of the Bulgarian Red Cross on time.