Amsterdam local council has arranged 1,000 hotel beds for Ukrainian refugees, taking the total number of places in the city to 1,500.
The search for beds is continuing ‘from dusk til dawn’, the Parool quoted mayor Femke Halsema as saying.
Every regional safety was asked by the government last week asked to provide 2,000 beds, half of which at short notice. The Amsterdam-Amstelland region has so far secured some 1,500 places.
Apart from the A&O hostel in the south east of the city and the Savoy hotel in the city centre, the council is expected to come to a financial agreement with chains like Holiday Inn, Novotel and Corendon.
The city is also readying sport halls should refugee numbers increase dramatically in the next few days. ‘These beds are for the first night. We will try to provide places with more privacy and amenities as soon as possible,’ Halsema said. The city has also secured places on two large cruise ships.
Hundreds of refugees have already arrived in the capital and have found shelter in private homes or hotels. The city is opening a registration system at the RAI conference centre where refugees can apply for shelter and help. Parts of the local council website are being translated into Ukrainian while the Ukrainian community in Amsterdam is also working on an information platform.
Halsema also warned the city’s economy will suffer the consequences of the armed conflict. ‘Amsterdam booms in good times but if things go badly we notice the impact immediately,’ she said.
The tourism industry will be hit if the conflict escalates, she said. ‘We cannot discard the possibility that this crisis will widen the gap between Amsterdammers as more people’s incomes suffer.’
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