Thursday, September 3, 2015 - 10:18
Dutch asylum agency desperate for more refugee shelter space
The Dutch agency for the reception of asylum seekers COA is desperate for more shelter for refugees. The agency will need even more than the previously stated 10 thousand beds this year, and is calling upon all Dutch municipalities to help provide shelter for the people fleeing to the Netherlands for safety. Gerard Bakker, chairman of the COA, said this in an interview with Dutch newspaper AD on Thursday. "Sometimes 1,800 new people arrive here a week. With that you can fill three regular asylum centers each week. It is very urgent that new centers are opened", Bakker said to the newspaper. "It is an unique problem. A problem for the whole society. We now have 70 locations. And we are still talking to 120 municipalities. I urgently appeal to all municipalities to take responsibility. Be flexible with construction plans. Because we still need more space and we need it faster." The agency is currently sheltering more than 30 thousand people, with more incoming. So far they have managed to give everyone a bed. Bakker is proud of the fact that they are managing to keep everyone off the street. "My people work very hard for it."