Emergency reception

Begin Early 2012 saw another mass influx of asylum seekers to Belgium, resulting in an acute shortage of reception places.

To express our concern and contribute to a temporary solution, we created an additional 148 temporary reception places for asylum seekers in February 2012, on top of our normal capacity. These places were intended for newly arrived asylum seekers for whom places in the existing network of reception centers and local reception schemes were not (yet) available. Our aim was to prevent asylum seekers who were entitled to reception from being left outside in the cold over the winter.

‘Emergency reception’ does not mean poor-quality reception. In fact, the Houthalen-Helchteren emergency reception center, despite being set up very hastily in December 2010, was awarded ISO 9001:2008 certification in 2012.

When additional emergency reception places are needed, we aim to respond quickly and efficiently to the government’s requests. However, we also continued to press the government to find a structural solution in order to avoid future humanitarian emergencies.

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