Ukrainian refugees are urged to find another place to stay quickly. The message has been delivered to the refugees who have been staying in the Ariane transit centre in the Brussels municipality of Woluwe-Saint-Lambert for more than few days.
As long as the number of refugees does not decrease, the emergency reception for newcomers at the centre is temporarily being stopped, the federal Agency for the reception of asylum seekers Fedasil said in a letter.
The situation in the Ariane transit centre has been known for some time: it is gradually becoming saturated because Ukrainians are staying longer than expected. The need for extra manpower also contributes to the decision.
“Ariane was created as a transit centre. The intention is that refugees stay here for a few nights before a long-term solution is found from one of the regions,” Joachim Deman, spokesperson for the Belgian Red Cross-Flanders said.
Ukrainian refugees stay for much longer than planned: almost one in four has been there longer than 25 days. “In principle, we can manage a situation in which our maximum capacity has been reached – as is happening now – but the long stays make that difficult.”
This creates additional psychological problems for the refugees, and a more permanent form of education and recreation, for example, is also needed for the Ukrainian children.
Fedasil underlined that the refugees are not being escorted to the door, and that the letter is a voluntary call. “The aim is to get the flow going, because it is too slow now. There must be room for new people,” said spokesperson Lies Gilis.
In the letter, Fedasil asks Ukrainians to find a new place to stay themselves, also because the Agency cannot refer refugees to enough concrete reception places.
“If you know people with whom you can stay, or find a new place to stay yourself, you will have quicker access to permanent residence in Belgium, a residence card and all the social and financial rights that come with temporary protection status,” the letter reads.