Sunday 04 December 2022

More Ukrainians arrive in the Netherlands as Dutch step up preparations

Cakes sold by children in aid of Ukraine. Photo: DutchNews.nl

The number of Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands had reached 6,200 by Sunday, according to justice ministry figures, quoted in the Telegraaf.

And regional safety board Hubert Bruls told television show Buitenhof that ‘drastic measures’ may have to be taken if people continue to arrive at the current pace.

‘If we have to take care of people in this tempo, every day, then it will be a very major challenge,’ Bruls said. This would mean large scale accommodation such as tents and marquees, Bruls, who is also mayor of Nijmegen, said.

If more than 100,000 Ukrainians come to the Netherlands, it may even be a question of sequestering suitable property or locations to provide accommodation, he told the programme.

The 25 regional safety boards have already been asked to identify suitable locations for Ukrainians fleeing the fighting, with an initial target of 2,000 places per region.

Ukrainians can travel freely within the Netherlands and do not have to report to the Ter Apel refugee reception centre, although a number have done so.

EU ministers have also agreed to extend the current 90 days of visa-free travel within the block to one year. During their time in the Netherlands or other EU countries, Ukrainian nationals will be able to work and their children can go to school.

Several organisations in the Netherlands are already matching Ukrainian nationals with Dutch families and thousands of families have signed up to take in people.

Trauma

Bruls said he was pleased that so many private individuals have come forward offering to help. ‘But if you take in people, you must be aware that it will be for more than days and weeks,’ he said. ‘And that they may well be traumatised.’

Various ministries are currently working on an instruction manual to help local authorities and private agencies cope with the number of refugees and are also looking into providing some form of financial support.

Ministers have also asked local councils not to cut welfare benefits to low income households who take in Ukrainian refugees, which they would be entitled to do under current legislation.

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