Coronavirus: Commission approves more than €20 million in cohesion policy support to deal with the health emergency in Bulgaria

Today, the Commission has adopted the reallocation of more than €20 million of cohesion policy funding to strengthen the healthcare sector’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. Thanks to this funding, the Bulgarian Ministry of Health purchased new top class medical equipment, life-saving medication and personal protective equipment for health care facilities all over Bulgaria, including more than 377 ventilators, over 2 million face masks and 177,000 test kits. Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “I am glad that the swift action of the Commission and the Bulgarian authorities is supporting the country’s hospitals and health workers in their fight against the pandemic. European solidarity is even more important when it contributes to saving people’s lives and protecting those working on the frontlines.” Thanks to the exceptional flexibility under the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII), the unspent resources from the European Regional Development Fund under the 2014-2020 Operational Programme Regions in Growth are redirected towards improving the crisis response capacity of the healthcare system and make it more resilient to similar crises. Through this programme, the EU has already invested €71 million in improving efficiency and accessibility of emergency health care in Bulgaria, thanks to the reconstruction and modernisation of emergency wards across Bulgaria (more than 230 sites) and the purchase of 400 new ambulances, many of which have been used to tackle the emergency. More information is also available in this factsheet.