This year’s Norwegian municipalities will be equipped to accept 30,000 Ukrainian refugees. The government will now use significant funds to increase the number of reception venues across the country.
Thus, it is expected that Norway will take in a total of 35,000 refugees this year – seven times more than municipalities normally settle during a normal year.
– We saw up to ten million people on the run. Most are internally in Ukraine, but 3.6 million are now fleeing the country, according to the United Nations. This is a number we haven’t seen since World War II, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor Party) said during a press conference on Friday.
– It’s an uphill task to have to readjust a little bit to the year on gait seven, and it’s not the finish line either. No one really knows what that number will be, he added.
In order for the municipality to be able to accept the large number of refugees who arrived in a short time, the government will consider making changes and adjustments to the laws and regulations.
– We have to be prepared for the fact that we can get new neighbors, new classmates, new players on the football team, says Støre.
On Thursday, police said that at least 9,000 refugees from Ukraine so far Norway has arrived. Half are not yet registered.
– We plan to take in more refugees than we ever did, said Minister of Labor and Social Inclusion Marte Mjøs Persen.
He stressed that the government will also increase funding for volunteers who contribute to the inclusion and integration of Ukrainian refugees.
Will set aside five billion kroner
– Today, it has been decided by the King in the Council that expenses can be increased to NOK 5 billion to acquire more reception places. This will ensure that we are prepared for the growing refugee crisis, said Justice and Contingency Planning Minister Emilie Enger Mehl.
The Ministry of Finance will submit a proposal to Storting next Friday. At the same time, the Minister of Justice acknowledged that the admissions system had challenges as it is today:
– After the asylum crisis in 2015, our capacity to receive and register refugees was reduced and concentrated in Råde. This is an undimensionalized system for the large numbers of refugees we see today.
– I understand that people get frustrated with waiting, and it takes time. But in a short time a lot has been done. Police have established 18 registration points in eight different police districts and are working intensively on this, Mehl said.
He also stressed that it is important that every refugee from Ukraine is registered, however Ukraine has now been granted collective protection, which means UDI does not assess each case individually.
The Minister of Justice pointed out, among other things, that fleeing persons are more vulnerable to crime:
– Police are aware that organized criminal networks in Europe are distributing original identity documents to third nationals who wish to enter the Schengen area illegally. We also know from previous experience that some people will take advantage of situations to obtain housing in the wrong way, says Mehl.
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