The municipalities of Amsterdam, Nijmegen and Oss will together receive 360 asylum seekers for whom there was no room left in the application center in Ter Apel. At least half of this group will stay in a hotel in Amsterdam next night, while Nijmegen and Oss will receive the remaining asylum seekers. It is not yet clear how long they will be allowed to stay. According to the ANP news agency, the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) is consulting with other municipalities about the opening of emergency locations for the coming period.
Also read: Patience in Ter Apel is running out
Ter Apel, where asylum seekers register before they move on to one of the 111 asylum seekers centers in the Netherlands, has been in a critical situation for some time. The shelter has room for two thousand asylum seekers, but there have been many more people staying in recent weeks, which meant that tents had to be set up outside. These tents were demolished on Tuesday and a place to sleep had to be found for the nearly four hundred asylum seekers who slept there.
Due to the influx of refugees from Ukraine, who have faster access to homes reserved by municipalities, hardly any asylum seekers flow through from reception center Ter Apel. Due to the large crowds in Ter Apel, the alarm bells were sounded at the end of March by the Dutch Council for Refugees, the Red Cross and the children’s rights organization UNICEF. In addition, the Groningen Security Region pointed out unsafe and unhygienic conditions in the center and threatened closure.
Read also Children’s ombudsman: ‘Children in Ter Apel are neglected’
A version of this article also appeared in NRC on the morning of April 20, 2022