Sunday 05 July 2020

Justice ministry to overhaul resettlement payments for refugees

Refugees at Ter Apel

Photo: Peter de Ruiter/ UNHCR Brussel

The financial package given to refugees who voluntarily leave the Netherlands is to be overhauled, junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff has decided.

Currently refugees are given a sum of money to help them settle when they return home, but Dijkhoff now wants them to provide receipts before the money is handed over, the Telegraaf said on Friday.

The money must be spend on ‘income guaranteeing activities’ such as setting up a micro company or a training scheme, but housing may also still be covered, the paper said.

Figures on the website for the International Organization for Migration, a UN body which administers the scheme, show adults will also be eligible for a lower payment of up to €1,800, rather than €2,250 at present.

At the same time, the minister wants to increase the amount payable per child from €1,000 to €2,800 to help fund their education in their country of origin. The total figure per adult and child includes a €300 cash payment.

However, a spokesman for the ministry told the Telegraaf that the new figures are only proposals and have not yet been confirmed.

Last year Dijkhoff scrapped a number of countries from the list where payments are applicable after it emerged that people were claiming to be refugees to access the funding.

So far 712 people have made a claim on the system this year, the paper said.

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