The Hague – The municipality of The Hague is looking for places to receive Afghan refugees. The city council writes this in a letter to the city council. The search is in response to a cry for help from the government: there is an acute shortage of accommodation. “As the third largest city in the Netherlands, The Hague has a responsibility to contribute to this cause.”
Due to the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, an increased influx of asylum seekers is expected. In a letter to all municipalities in the country, Minister Kagsa Olungren wrote that more refugees are expected to arrive from Turkey, Lebanon and Belarus. The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) no longer has enough space to accommodate all refugees.
The municipality of The Hague is now “very actively looking for suitable accommodation and reception,” but also writes that “the available space is scarce.” According to Mayor Jan van Zaanen, the need is urgent and the shelter scenario during crises – such as shelter in gyms – should be prevented. “At the moment, possibilities are being explored to locate temporary, short-term sites to receive asylum seekers, particularly Afghan refugees.” The Hague works with other municipalities in the region.
Struggling with this issue
Hague PvdA leader Michal Tsegay has already campaigned to liberate spaces in the city. According to her, there are a sufficient number of unused places in The Hague suitable for receiving refugees. “Many office and hospital buildings are empty, like the old Pronovo and a number of government buildings.”
Earlier, other municipalities also seemed to have this problem. Leiden has already indicated its willingness to search for additional temporary reception sites. Earlier, Leiden Aldermann Marilyn Damen told media partner Sleutlstadt that she was in talks with Holiday Inn management about accepting refugees. Parties in Westland and the municipality of Teylingen have already raised questions about the reception of Afghan refugees, and Rijswijk GroenLinks hopes the municipality will keep the center for asylum seekers in Lange Kleiweg open.
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