In 2008 the Bulgarian Red Cross has worked and developed its capacity in a dynamic external economic environment, marked with the highest economical growth since 1996, registered in the first half year. At the same time, in the end of the year, the first effects of the world economy crisis started to emerge in Bulgaria. The crisis with the interrupted gas supply also put an additional pressure to the population, being an issue of a great importance, with its effect on one fifth of the Bulgarian population.
The economical and social processes taking place in the country had different intensity in the different regions of the country. There are regional differences in terms of production, income, employment, quality of infrastructure. Significant discrepancies between “center” and “periphery” can be noted in the country as well as major internal regional differences in the local economies and in the public services management.
The social issues and human resource development represent an important component of the situational analysis in the country. In the last decade Bulgaria has a stable negative population growth, accompanied by aging population and depopulation of some parts of its territory. Regardless of the relatively good educational status of the population, there is a sustainable trend of quality decrease in the secondary education. Bulgaria does not show improvement on the acute social problems, related to the people with disabilities, drug addicts, minority groups, homeless people and other groups in risk. Additional funding is needed for social interventions as well as a better coordination between the participating State institutions and the non-governmental sector.
In such complex economical and social environment, the BRC steadily worked in all directions of its activities, realizing the mission in the name of which it has been created – helping the vulnerable, being a reliable partner to the State in response to different types of disasters and in solving important social problems.
In 2008 the organization was financing its activities through different sources – own income, project funding, subsidy from the State budget/support provided from the State in pursuance of the Geneva Conventions and the Bulgarian Red Cross Law, donations, fundraising campaigns and others.
The income from economic activities is an important component of the income. They ensure financial and material resource, which allows the organization to handle adequately all challenges. Taking in consideration the trend of decrease or full seizure of the funding coming from external donors, the economic activity of the organization ensures stable income, directed to consolidation of the structures of the organization, assures the maintenance and finances programmes for support to vulnerable groups in the society. The objective is to improve and create new preconditions for even better development of the economic activity, with its estimation as a major funding source. The trends observed during the last years show an increase of the income from economic activity in the frames of the overall income.
The National Training and Logistics Centre of the Bulgarian Red Cross in Lozen marked a significant growth in its development in 2008. Significant results have been achieved in transforming the centre into a modern facility for training and leisure. From a structure, that in the past needed finances to carry on its activities, it has been transformed into a unit generating income, which succeeds not only to secure the funds for its own maintenance, but also to allocate such for investments aiming at increasing its capacity, as well as to provide funding for programmes in support of vulnerable people.
The Bulgarian Red Cross, as a public organization with a specific status, enjoying financial support from the State in the form of subsidy from the State budget, tax and customs preferences in accordance to the laws in force, during 2008 also was a subject to a verification by State control institutions.
The results of the verification are favorable to the BRC and are an indicator for meticulous application of the laws and of the internal organizational documents.
Regular monitoring and audits were carried on by different internationally recognized audit companies in the frames of the implementation and reporting of projects funded by external donors. The results of all audits show that the requirements of the donors were followed and that the funding was utilized in accordance with its purpose.
The efforts of the organization through its own capacity to analyze and assess the internal processes and continuously to improve its management and control mechanisms continued during the reporting period. A considerable improvement was realized in the application of internal control in all structures and on all levels of activity. The main conclusions of the inspections, carried on by the internal control units is that the control mechanisms work effectively, the omissions conducted are reduced and there is a good level of financial discipline.
You could see the results of the financial and economic activity of BRC for 2008 in the attached files: