Cabinet preparing to shelter up to 150,000 Ukrainian refugees
The Dutch government expects 100,000 to 150,000 Ukrainians to seek shelter in the Netherlands. The Ministry of Justice and Security stressed that the number is far from certain. "It's fluid. You don't know what Putin is going to do," said Migration policy director Bart-Jan ter Heerdt in parliament, referring to the Russian president responsible for the invasion of Ukraine.
Ter Heerdt stressed the uncertainty in answering parliamentary questions about the scenarios the Justice Ministry is preparing for. "We don't know, we honestly don't know." According to him, the Netherlands has contacted neighboring countries to ask what they are taking into account. "But nobody dares to say: it is this number," said the senior official. He did not explain how they eventually came to between 100,000 and 150,000 people. "That is what we take into account, and that is what we want to be prepared for."
On Monday, almost 23,000 Ukrainians were being sheltered in the Netherlands. Their reception seems to be going smoothly for the time being. Municipalities can now accommodate over 30,000 people. How long that will remain sufficient is difficult to predict. Compared to Thursday, almost 1,800 refugees registered for reception by the municipality, while the number of reception places increased by only 42 in the same period.
Reporting by ANP