North Rhine-Westphalia: City Day NRW expects more refugees in winter

The number of refugees, not only from Ukraine, is increasing again.

North Rhine-Westphalia: City Day NRW expects more refugees in winter

The number of refugees, not only from Ukraine, is increasing again. The NRW cities fear that they will reach their limits. Some municipalities already have to occupy gymnasiums with refugees again.

Düsseldorf (dpa/lnw) - The municipalities in North Rhine-Westphalia expect the number of refugees to increase in autumn and winter and are demanding that the state increase the number of places to accommodate people. The refugees must also be distributed fairly among all municipalities, said the chairman of the NRW city association, Essen's mayor Thomas Kufen (CDU), the dpa.

So far, more than 200,000 war refugees have arrived from Ukraine. “The municipalities have to accommodate around two-thirds of these people in apartments, hotel rooms or collective accommodation,” said Kufen. "In view of the housing market situation in many cities, this is a real challenge." The cities also provided daycare and school places.

At the same time, according to Kufens, the number of refugees from other countries is increasing. In NRW, more than 40,000 people are expected to apply for asylum this year and be provided with accommodation and food by the municipalities. That would be at least a quarter more than last year. "We assume that this development will continue. That's why we now have to prepare for more refugees in NRW."

Some municipalities would already have to occupy gymnasiums with refugees again, said Kufen. The country must quickly increase the capacities in its own state facilities. According to Kufen, initial admission by the state would also help to ensure that the refugees are distributed fairly among all municipalities. The cities would also need to know how many additional accommodation options they should provide. In addition, the country must "finally assure that it will assume the costs for these precautionary places and emergency shelters".

NRW Flight and Integration Minister Josefine Paul (Greens) had announced that she would increase the number of places in state accommodation for Ukrainian refugees from the current 3,400 to 4,500 by the beginning of October. The black-green state government had also threatened to stop admissions in view of the increasing number of refugees.

In a letter to the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI), the NRW Ministry for Refugees criticized the fact that some countries, despite the under-quota for taking in refugees from Ukraine, had allowed themselves to be blocked and sent the people on to NRW. The federal government must live up to its control function. Three states - North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg and Saarland - are currently responsible for the majority of the admission of Ukrainian refugees.

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