At least 100 people again spent the night in chairs at Ter Apel asylum center
Last night at least a hundred people didn’t have beds at the Ter Apel asylum application center. They had a roof over their heads but spent the night on chairs in the recreation room and the waiting center of the application center, a spokesperson for the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) reported.
There is room for 2,000 people in Ter Apel. The application center was busy over the past few nights, and about 50 people always slept on chairs, according to the spokesperson. Ter Apel has been struggling with large crowds for some time because the flow of refugees - asylum seekers whose application was approved - from asylum centers to homes has stagnated. As a result, the COA often has to find extra places to sleep at the last minute, and asylum seekers sometimes have to sleep on chairs.
The Netherlands’ 25 security regions are preparing to take in more people in a rotation system of crisis emergency shelters to relieve Ter Apel. According to the rotation system, four regions must each take in a total of 600 asylum seekers in the coming weeks. The mayors in the Security Council, who head the security regions, doubt whether this will be sufficient and are therefore investigating a variant in which six regions are alternately “on duty” for taking in 900 asylum seekers.
The mayors are now examining the new schedule with 900 available places and comparing it with the COA’s forecasts. If the COA expects the inflow to rise, the new schedule will take effect.
According to Mayor Henri Lenferink of Leiden, who stood in for Security Council chairman Hubert Bruls in Tuesday’s online meeting, that is a big job. “Some regions are really struggling.”
The mayors also discussed the reception of Ukrainian refugees. The Cabinet asked them to create another 50,000 reception places. The mayors want the number of shelter spots to be distributed more evenly. “One region is large in terms of population, the other in terms of surface area. The other region is small in all respects. A proportional distribution must be introduced,” said Lenferink.
Reporting by ANP