750 temporary places will be created by the Belgian army to accommodate asylum seekers in barracks.
The Belgian army will create some 750 temporary places in barracks to house asylum seekers and relieve the saturated reception system, the Ministry of Defense and the State Secretariat for Asylum and Migration announced on Wednesday. .
These shelters will be installed “in hangars, with mobile sanitary facilities if necessary”, and “the restoration will initially also be provided temporarily by Defense”, specifies a press release from the Ministry of Defense.
“A container village” offers 750 reception places is planned “in a second phase”. “It is very important that (he) can be integrated as quickly as possible so that the temporary emergency reception in the hangars of Defense is as short as possible”, he adds.
The reception capacity for asylum seekers in Belgium is currently 31,000 places, with an occupancy rate of 95% which means in practice that the centers are full, according to a spokesperson for fedasil, the agency for the reception of asylum seekers. And this is not the first time in this crisis that the government has called on Defense to help.
An intervention “as short as possible”
The army “already provides nearly 6,000 reception places, or 20% of the total reception capacity of our country”, recalled the Minister of Defense, Ludivine Dedonder. She wanted “the intervention of the Defense to be as short as possible so as not to compromise the operation and reconstruction of this department”.
In a later phase, the Régie des Bâtiments – the federal state’s property manager – will be responsible for finding infrastructure to provide a “structural solution” to the reception of families and to replace the container village, it was specified.
The government is also trying to free up places in the reception network by speeding up the exit of people who work and “can manage on their own”, indicated the new Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Nicole of Moor.
She also noted that “more than 50% of asylum applications” filed in Belgium corresponded to applications already filed in other EU countries. “The pressure of asylum becomes enormous in our country if asylum seekers do not return to the first country of arrival in the EU” – in charge of their file, according to European rules -, she declared. , announce the creation of a “specialized center to carry out” these returns.