Ter Apel asylum seekers can go to Drachten: the municipality offers a place for 225 people at the Fries Congress Center

In the coming period, the Fries Congress Center in Drachten will provide a place for asylum seekers from Ter Apel. As of Monday 15 August, a maximum of 225 people can be accommodated here.

At the request of the Fryslân Safety District, Smallingerland Municipality cooperates in emergency crisis relief. The situation in Ter Abel was described as a “national crisis” in mid-June.

According to the municipality, there is an acute emergency at Ter Apel. This means that temporary shelter is badly needed. “We believe that we as a municipality have a responsibility to contribute to this humanitarian crisis,” said Mayor Jan Rijpstra.

‘more effort’

Rijpstra expects from The Hague that a structural solution to the Ter Apel’s major reception problems will be found this year. “In addition, I believe that more efforts should be made to return asylum seekers – especially those residing in safe territories – who do not have a residence permit to their countries of origin.”

The municipality of Heerenveen previously provided the Hoekstrahal sports hall. However, this sponsorship ends on August 15th. Then the Heerenveense Hall will again be available to sports clubs and schools.

Locals receive a message

This week Smallingerland sent out more than 2,900 letters with explanations to residents near the Fries Convention Center. The letter stated: “The need is great.” and: “The Fries Conference Center shall provide safe and good enough reception spaces, which are available at short notice.”

The letter also states that the duration of reception is six weeks, with the possibility of an extension of six weeks. Refugees come from different countries. Relates to men, women, children and/or families. It remains unclear if the 225 people will actually attend. The Fryslân Safety District oversees refugees, runs the conference center and, for example, also arranges security in and around the reception center – 24 hours a day.

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It is not yet known when exactly the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) will start using the conference center in Drachten.

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