Around 300 people sleep outside at Ter Apel, despite efforts to house asylum seekers
About 300 people spent Saturday night sleeping outside the application center in Ter Apel. They were unable to find a place to sleep, despite accelerated government efforts to house asylum seekers amid warnings about hygiene and health at the application center.
In total, about 450 asylum seekers waited in front of the gates of the overcrowded application center on Saturday. These were the 250 who had slept there on Friday night and about 200 who had returned from Stadskanaal and Zuidbroek, where they had been taken by Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) on Friday. The asylum seekers were evacuated after physicians Doctors Without Borders found a number of skin infections and other neglected illnesses during examinations on Thursday and Friday, and the Health and Youth Care Inspectorate warned of potential for an outbreak of disease.
Eighty of those 450 were able to enter the application center during the day. Seventy others were taken to Vlissingen by bus at the end of the afternoon. Eighty-five asylum seekers, mainly "vulnerable" people, are being cared for in Stadskanaal, a COA spokesperson said.
The municipality of Doetinchem will open a crisis emergency shelter for refugees from Ter Apel on Sunday. It will house the 150 asylum seekers who were accommodated in sports halls in Apeldoorn on Thursday evening. In total, the emergency shelter will offer space to 225 refugees who can stay until the end of the year.
The emergency shelter in Doetinchem will also offer space for families who are currently staying in Heeten in Overijssel. The emergency shelter in Heeten is closed. The asylum seekers are housed in Doetinchem in residential units on a site next to the police station. Each unit can accommodate four to five people.
A pavilion for central facilities will also be placed on the site such as first aid and catering. The site is also close to shops in the Gelderland town. Residents are not allowed to leave the location between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., according to the municipality. Local residents have been informed by the municipality in the past week.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times