Dutch royals to house Ukrainian refugees at Het Oude Loo
As municipalities across the Netherlands struggle to arrange accommodation for those fleeing the war in Ukraine, King Willem-Alexander has announced that his family will receive refugees at one of their estates near Apeldoorn.
Dutch King to welcome Ukrainian families at Het Oude Loo in Apeldoorn
In a statement released on Monday, the Government Information Service (RVD) announced that between 20 and 30 Ukrainian refugees will be sheltered at Het Oude Loo - a 15th-century hunting lodge located on the grounds of Het Loo Palace on the outskirts of Apeldoorn - from mid-April.
The announcement comes as municipalities work to set up accommodation for 50.000 Ukrainian refugees. The Dutch government had set local authorities the deadline of finding space for 25.000 refugees by March 21, but yesterday Hubert Bruls, President of the Security Council, voiced his concerns about the scale of the task at hand.
"Those 25.000 will come, but my biggest concern is the period after that. We were going to do 25.000 more and we have to seriously ask ourselves if that is enough," Bruls explained, emphasising the fact that he hoped to secure more long-term accommodation for refugees, instead of having to rely on schools and hotels for temporary support. “We really need buildings where people can stay longer," he said.
The Netherlands prepares to receive over 50.000 refugees
So far, around 12.000 refugees have been registered for accommodation in the Netherlands, and while the government initially expected to receive around 50.000, it looks as though the real figure may be much higher, as the United Nations reports that over 3,5 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion one month ago.
State Secretary for Asylum and Migration Eric van der Burg confirmed on Monday that the Dutch government was looking to secure more long-term accommodation for refugees arriving from Ukraine. He told the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) that it was not entirely clear exactly how many refugees would be arriving in the Netherlands - but that he expected it would certainly be more than 50.000.
Dutch citizens and residents are also trying to do their bit, signing up as host families for refugees from Ukraine via platforms such as Takecarebnb and Room for Ukraine. Takecarebnb announced on Monday that, from next week, around 1.250 Ukrainian refugees will be placed with families in the Netherlands every day.