City of Antwerp to be first to build emergency village for Ukrainian refugees

The Antwerp city council is no longer going to wait for the government of Flanders and has decided to start building Flanders' first emergency village for Ukrainian refugees itself. More than 25,000 Ukrainian refugees have now registered with the Belgian Immigration Office. "Since no decisions were taken at a higher level, we made the decision ourselves", says Antwerp Mayor Bart De Wever. 

"We know that this humanitarian crisis is coming our way, and we want to organise ourselves as well as possible," says De Wever. Since the Flemish task force for the reception of Ukrainian refugees has not yet reached a decision on the locations of emergency villages for Ukrainian refugees, Antwerp has now decided to go ahead and construct shelters for 600 to 1000 people. The buildings will be constructed on a site the size of three football fields.

The village will comprise several "double bungalows" with all utilities and sanitary facilities. There will also be a medical and psychological centre and the city is looking into the possibility of offering education. "At the moment, we have cleared six million euros," says De Wever. In this way, the city wants to avoid giving slum landlords free rein.


Picture: People await their turn at a center for the registration of Ukrainian refugees in Brussels, Belgium © BELGA PHOTO JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE



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