Prince Charles visits Bucharest center for Ukrainian refugees
The Prince of Wales visited on May 25 the center for Ukrainian refugees set up at Romexpo, the exhibition center in northern Bucharest.
The royal met with refugees who fled the war in Romania’s northern neighbor and saw the response of the local authorities, and of the various NGOs and volunteers working to support Ukrainian refugees.
The center set up at Romexpo sees every day visits from some 1,000 Ukrainians, according to Bucharest’s Social Services Department. They go there for basic supplies such as food, hygiene products, and clothing. They can also receive counseling and social services throughout their stay in the country.
The number of refugees coming to the center has grown constantly since the start of the war, according to representatives of Bucharest’s Social Services Department. More than 1 million Ukrainian citizens entered Romania since February 24, the date of the start of Russia’s invasion. The majority of refugees in Romania are women and children (71%). Some 12,300 have applied for temporary protection, a status that allows access to healthcare, education and the labor market, according to UNHCR data. Most of them are staying in large cities such as Bucharest, Constanța, Brașov, Galați, Iași and Suceava.
During his visit to the center, Prince Charles was accompanied by Margareta, the daughter of King Michael I and the custodian of the Romanian Crown; state secretary Raed Arafat, the head of the Emergency Situations Department; Ioan Silviu Lefter, the director of the Romanian Red Cross; Pablo Zapata, the UNHCR Representative in Romania; Bucharest mayor Nicușor Dan; Cosmina Simiean, the director of Bucharest’s Social Services Department; and representatives of the Romanian Salvation Army and other NGOs working there.
While in Bucharest, the royal met with president Klaus Iohannis, who welcomed him at Cotroceni Palace. The two discussed solutions to limit the impact of climate change and preserve biodiversity, which could be applied in Romania, the UK, and internationally, according to a release from the Romanian Presidency. They also talked about developing educational projects tackling climate change in order to raise awareness and prepare the young generation for green jobs.
The Prince of Wales also met with Romanian prime minister Nicolae Ciucă. The meeting covered Romania’s efforts to support Ukrainian refugees, the security situation in the region, and the country’s policies in the area of green and renewable energy, the Government said.
The prince was welcomed at the Elisabeta Palace by Margareta, the custodian of the Romanian Crown. He visited the palace before in 2011, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
After the visit in Bucharest, the prince went to visit the properties he owns in Transylvania. He owns a Saxon cottage in Viscri, in Brasov county, hosting a center offering heritage preservation training courses, and one other property in Valea Zalanului / Zalanpatak, in Covasna county.
(Opening photo: Alex MICSIK / AGERPRES FOTO , courtesy of British Embassy Bucharest; gallery photos by Alex MICSIK / AGERPRES FOTO, courtesy of British Embassy Bucharest)