Belgian state secretary for Asylum and Migration asks government for more reception places

Belgian state secretary for Asylum and Migration Nicole de Moor wants a large-scale humanitarian reception for asylum seekers. She said this during the radio show De Ochtend on Radio 1 on Wednesday. De Moor will submit the decision to the federal government later in the day.

There has been an acute shortage of reception places for asylum seekers recently. A lot of people were forced to spend the night on the streets. Last Friday, the government already decided that Fedasil, the federal agency responsible for the reception of asylum seekers, would soon be given an additional 150 staff members to make the available reception places operational. But De Moor wants to go further, and advocates large-scale humanitarian reception for asylum seekers.

"Smaller reception centres are reaching their limits today," De Moor said. "Each of these small centres needs staff. More is needed. That cannot be done with small office buildings (...) Hotels are not a workable solution, the shortages are too great for that," De Moor said, not clarifying where that large reception centre should be. "That is something we will discuss today. I am looking at all departments for that."

De Moor will submit the matter to the federal government later Wednesday. The secretary of state wants to make a decision as soon as possible, "rather today than tomorrow". "The urgency is very high and that is clear to everyone. Nobody in the government wants people sleeping on the streets. I sense a lot of unanimity around the table to solve this. I call for decisions to be taken today. I think we have no time to lose," said the state secretary.



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