Refugee agency cuts workforce by 30% as fewer asylum seekers arrive

Refugees at Ter Apel
Photo: Peter de Ruiter/ UNHCR Brussel

The Dutch refugee settlement agency COA is to slash its 4,000-strong workforce by 30% because fewer asylum seekers than expected are coming to the Netherlands.

The jobs will mainly be lost by cutting back on temporary and short-term staff and people on permanent contracts will not be affected, the organisation said in a statement.

The government said earlier this year it expected 58,000 asylum seekers to come to the Netherlands in 2016 but that figure was revised down sharply to 32,000 earlier this month.

The downturn is largely due to the deal struck between the EU and Turkey, officials said.

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