UNICEF representative to Romania Anna Riatti, speaking on Thursday at a press conference delivered together with UNHCR representative Pablo Zapata and Bucharest City Deputy Mayor Horia Tomescu on the occasion of the opening of the Kogalniceanu ‘Blue Dot’ support center in Bucharest dedicated both to refugee children and families, as well as to Bucharest’s vulnerable families, praised the way the Romanian society received the Ukrainian war refugees, according to Agerpres.
I come from Italy, where I’ve also seen a large flow of refugees from Africa and other parts of the world, most recently from Ukraine. My opinion is that everything that the Romanian government has done, and Bucharest City in particular (I had the opportunity to visit other ‘Blue Dot’ centers) show the extraordinary mobilization and solidarity Romania’s citizens and authorities have offered the Ukrainians who were fleeing the war, Riatti said.
In his turn, Pablo Zapata said that Bucharest has made huge efforts to take in refugees, remarking that in the six months since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine there have been no serious refugee-related incidents in Romania, which is praiseworthy.
The response of the Bucharest citizens was also exemplary. It wasn’t just an official matter, but a reaction of the whole society, and we have no words to properly give thanks. People simply came out into the street to help and many welcomed them into their homes. These silent efforts, this discreet hospitality, the fact that the presence of refugees and their integration into society are not controversial topics show very good things about the Romanian society, about the citizens of the country and about Bucharest, said the UNHCR representative.
Deputy Mayor Horia Tomescu said that people who come to the ‘Blue Dot’ center benefit from psychological and possibly legal counseling, getting assistance with obtaining documents that will help them transit or settle in Romania. He mentioned that over one million Ukrainian war refugees have transited Romania, including the Capital City, and some remained here. The new center in Bucharest has clothes and toys to offer children, but also information for the mothers regarding psychological assistance, pediatric or obstetric care.
According to UNICEF, as of the first part of August, more than 42,000 refugee women and children had received support in the ‘Blue Dot’ centers in Romania. There are currently 11 such support centers in border crossing towns – Sighetu Marmatiei, Siret, Isaccea, Albita, Husi – but also in the cities of Iasi, Brasov and Bucharest.