Use of crisis accommodation for refugees almost at an end

Newly arrived refugees in the Netherlands will soon no longer have to sleep in sports centres and exhibition halls, the NRC says on Wednesday.

Ank Bijleveld-Schouten, who is the king’s commissioner in Overijssel, told the paper public buildings will soon no longer be used as emergency hostels.

‘The refugee settlement agency COA has told us they will probably no longer be needed from next week,’ said Bijleveld-Schouten, who chairs the provincial government umbrella group IPO.

Crisis centres

A spokesman for COA said next week would be ‘tight’ but if the flow of refugees continued to reduce it should be possible to stop using crisis centres at some point this month.

Some 500 refugees are currently living in eight separate crisis centres around the country. Emergency accommodation is supposed to be restricted to a maximum of two 72-hour periods.

On Tuesday, the immigration service said 700 asylum seekers had arrived in the Netherlands last week. This is down a further 100 on the previous week. The number of new arrivals has been decreasing steadily since the October peak.

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