Flanders prepares for refugee influx in case of escalation in Ukraine

Flanders is developing a scenario in which it prepares for an increased refugee flow as a result of an escalation in Ukraine, Flemish Housing minister Matthias Diependaele revealed in parliament on Thursday.

"It is tough to predict how the conflict will evolve and what its impact will be on the migration flow from Ukraine," Diependaele (N-VA, Flemish nationalists) said after a question from fellow party member Sarah Smeyers. The Flemish government is therefore working on a strategy for 2023 that "takes into account, on the one hand, a status quo of the limited influx, as it has remained very stable for quite some time," the minister said. "On the other hand, developing a scenario in which we are prepared is essential. Such a strategy can then be used to anticipate possible surges should the war conflict flare up.

The "follow-up strategy" is currently being developed and will be finalised during March, the minister added. The approach focuses on providing sufficient reception places but also on participation. "It is important to have an eye for a wider approach than just reception, with the participation of displaced persons in social life and the labour market," Diependaele said.

The Dutch-speaking region of Flanders currently accommodates 32,000 displaced persons, sixty per cent of the total number in Belgium.



#FlandersNewsService | Flemish Housing minister Matthias Diependaele © BELGA PHOTO JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE

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