Refugee number rise sharply in Q3 as more Syrians and Afghans apply for asylum
A total of 8,845 people made a first application for asylum in the Netherlands in the third quarter of this year, 2.5 times the second quarter total and the highest number since the end of 2015.
The biggest group – 2,550 – came from Syria, while 1,565 people from Afghanistan applied for refugee status. The increase in the number of Afghan nationals, up seven-fold on the previous quarter, coincided with the return to power of the Taliban, forcing thousands to flee.
The third biggest group of refugees was made up of people from Turkey. Their number rose to 1,540.
The number of family members applying for permission to join their relatives in the Netherlands rose 7% to 2,270. Most of them came from either Turkey or Syria, national statistics agency CBS said.
The rise in the number of new refugees is causing major problems at the country’s refugee centres, where a shortage of beds has led to people sleeping in tents and on chairs.
The shortage of accommodation is due both an increase in refugee numbers and to the nationwide housing crisis, which means there is nowhere for asylum seekers who have been granted refugee status to move to.
Some 11,000 out of 30,000 beds in regular refugee centres are currently lived in by people who have residency permits and are waiting to be settled in normal housing. In addition, thousands of people are still waiting for their cases to be assessed by the immigration service IND.
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