At the registration center in Ter Apel, no one had to sleep in waiting areas for almost two weeks. Now that municipalities are intervening here and there, the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) believes it can stay until Christmas.
The situation was so crowded in Ter Apel that people regularly had to spend the night in waiting rooms at the COA and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). The situation became so bad that the Red Cross was called. The organization distributed hygiene kits and air mattresses, among other items. The situation was dangerous and untenable, inspections soon after concluded.
Meanwhile, several municipalities stepped in to help. Heated tents were set up at Stadskanaal. For example, other municipalities, including Groningen, Winschoten and Dremelen in Brabant, have arranged locations where asylum seekers can also be accommodated for a short period.
As a result, no one had to sleep in the waiting areas for about two weeks. The COA spokesman confirms that the asylum seekers only had to spend the night there because the need was so severe. After the inspection report, the goal was for this not to happen again.
The coming period will also remain exciting
Something is really happening now, outgoing Foreign Minister Erik van der Burgh (Asylum) said on Wednesday morning during the committee debate. He pointed to the municipalities that have already intervened. These are often municipalities that have already arranged many shelters. They say they are helping out of solidarity with Ter Apel, but also stress that other municipalities must contribute.
The need is less urgent now, but there are still too many people in Ter Apel. After last year’s crisis, it was agreed with the municipality of Westerwold that no more than two thousand people would remain in the registration center. But there are still between 2,200 and 2,300.
It’s still exciting, because many COA reception sites are temporary. According to the latest figures shared with NU.nl, there are 92 regular shelters and 157 emergency shelters that will remain open for a few weeks or months. In addition, there are 58 other crisis reception locations in emergency situations, for example, in event halls. Asylum seekers stay there for the shortest possible period.
Van der Burgh said that in the coming weeks, more new asylum seekers will be accommodated in sports and event halls. The first opens on Friday and seats 150 people. The outgoing Foreign Minister believes: “We will not succeed in providing residential or guest accommodation.” “This is today’s reality.”
Avid music fanatic. Communicator. Social media expert. Award-winning bacon scholar. Alcohol fan.