Today the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria hold a webinar with U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria – H.E. Herro Mustafa. The event was exclusive for members of the chamber and more than 100 people attended, including the AmCham Board and C-level representatives. The webinar was organized on the Cisco WebEx platform.
“We are glad that we had another opportunity to discuss a broad range of topics related to the business environment the investment climate and rule of law with Ambassador Mustafa. With such an open dialogue and stable focus on joint priorities, we are certain that we can achieve success in key areas such as business climate improvement, rule of law, and human capital development,” said Olivier Marquette, AmCham Bulgaria President. “I take the opportunity to thank all of our members which made financial or in-kind donations either solely under their own CSR programs or jointly at UNITED Against COVID-19 fund. These efforts provided rapid support and relief to medical institutions or to people in need during the state of emergency in Bulgaria.”
He pointed also, that during the State of Emergency AmCham was very active to advocate for needed measures to support companies impacted by Covid-19 before various institutions, as well as in charity to combat COVID-19. There are many positive examples of businesses that adapted to the changes, as well as others that still suffer of the consequences of the disrupted business continuity, supply chains, and paused economy.
In such moments maintaining a good balance between positive dialogue with institutions, showing solidarity, in the context of a strong and active Bulgaria-US strategic dialogue, as well as continuous focus on fundamentals of the business environment such as rule of law, protection of enterprises and the employment, turned out a priority for the chamber.
“I am proud of the support AmCham members have shown for Bulgaria in this challenging time, and have been awed by the generosity of U.S. companies. In collaboration with AmCham’s leadership and members, the U.S. Embassy is working hard to strengthen U.S.-Bulgaria ties, and I am optimistic about the future,” said Ambassador Mustafa addressing the AmCham Bulgaria community.
UNITED Against COVID-19
The Initiative. On April 9, 2020, the Bulgarian Donors Forum, America for Bulgaria Foundation, U.S. Embassy and AmCham Bulgaria announced the establishment of the United Against COVID-19 Relief Fund. Guided by its mission “to help communities in need in Bulgaria,” the Fund established as its goal to financially support the most vulnerable groups across the country affected by the coronavirus crisis.
Transparency. For maximum transparency to donors, applicants and other stakeholders, the fund created www.united4bg.org that includes detailed information about objectives and governance; the donors, funds raised, the approved projects, as well as the whole application process.
Donors. Till May 15th, 2020, the Fund has raised BGN 1,006,475, donated by 44 donors – companies, foundations and individuals – from March to May 2020.
The donors that deserve acknowledgement are: The Coca-Cola Foundation, America for Bulgaria Foundation, ContourGlobal Maritza East 3, NEPI Rockcastle, Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation, ING Bank NV, Progress Software, Citibank, Johnson & Johnson Bulgaria, UniCredit Bulbank, Glavbolgarstroy, MSD Bulgaria, TELUS International Europe, Tsetska and Grozdan Karadjovi, Svetozar Georgiev, Trust for Social Achievement, AES 3C Maritza Iztok 1, Paraflow Communications, Mylan, EXL Servise Bulgaria, Blagotvoritel Foundation, AIG Europe SA (Bulgaria branch), Fadata, Meglena Rusеnova, Green Step Club, Rossen Ivanov, Krassimir Nenov, Titan Machinery Bulgaria, and 16 individual anonymous donors.
Reach: The Fund aided 700,000 people (estimate from the approved projects). The projects are in 82 locations (44 small towns, 26 villages and 12 regional centers) across Bulgaria.
Applicants. The Fund administered the application process on a competitive basis, with two calls for proposals. Main target included medical institutions, municipalities, civil society organizations, community centers, schools and micro and small businesses with ideas for how to support people affected by the crisis. The maximum funding per project under the rules of the Fund is BGN 10,000.
Supported projects. The Fund approved a total of 106 projects, as follows: 28 hospitals and 7 smaller medical establishments; 15 municipalities; 37 NGOs; 9 community centers; 2 schools; and 8 SMEs. The list of all approved projects are here www.united4bg.org
UNITED Against COVID-19 Fund Outlook
as of May 15th, 2020
|Other medical institutions||26||7|
|Others (Schools, SMEs)||99||10|