Sunday 01 August 2021

‘Reduction in refugee numbers costs asylum seeker centre agency €250m’

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The Dutch refugee settlement agency COA has spent €250m on empty asylum seekers centres and cutting back on contracts, according to the Telegraaf.

That figure, which the COA told broadcaster NOS ‘is in the right direction’, is equivalent to a quarter of the agency’s annual budget, the Telegraaf says.

Far fewer refugees came to the Netherlands last year following the agreement between the EU and Turkey to look after them closer to home, leading the COA to reduce the number of available beds from 60,000 to 30,000.

The cost of maintaining the empty centres and buying out contracts with companies who were supposed to provide  beds and security has cost €142m, the paper said.

For example, one holiday village owner in Venray has a contract with the COA which runs until 2020, the paper said.

A further €110m was spend on other costs associated with reducing capacity – such as redundancy payments – and a further €80m will be spent this year.

At the end of last year, the AD reported that the aim is to have three large centres where asylum claims can be processed under one roof, and therefore more quickly.

The AD bases its claim on immigration service plans for refugee housing and the new government’s coalition agreement.

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