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Antwerp to welcome a third of all Ukrainian refugees in Flanders

The Province of Antwerp needs to find accommodation for 38,000 Ukrainian refugees.  This is the number of Ukrainian refugees expected in the northern province by the summer.  The total represents a third of all Ukrainian refugees being taken care of in Flanders.

Provincial authorities in Antwerp are aware of 400 Ukrainian refugees at the minute: people who are being taken care of by friends or families or who have been offered accommodation by one of the various authorities.  The number is expected to rise steeply.

“By 15 June Flemish provincial governors and the local authorities have been instructed to have 120,000 reception places at the ready across Flanders” says Antwerp governor Berx. “For Antwerp the figure is 38,000”.

“We are currently aware of 5,000 places.  The Flemish authorities have developed an excellent website to organise this.  Everybody who has a room free, a flat or a house, an empty business is being asked to offer it on the website.”

Via the website Vlaanderen helpt Oekraïne (Flanders helps Ukraine) you can notify when space is available and whether any works are needed.

“The federal asylum and migration agency, Fedasil, will then use the information to allot refugees to a local authority” says Berx.

Flemish municipalities have been informed how many refugee places they are supposed to get ready.  It works out at around 2% of the population.

“It’s a target telling us what we as a community need to achieve.  It brings everything into clear focus” says the governor of our most populous province.

“There are holiday villages operated by the Flemish authorities, sheltered accommodation for seniors.  We are asking municipalities to check up on empty buildings.  There are an awful lot of premises that are empty, where people have to pay the tax on empty buildings.  This is a good time to do things up with Flemish support and offer the premises to Ukrainian refugees”. 

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