Number of Ukrainian refugees entering Belgium lowers, says Mahdi

The number of Ukrainian refugees entering Belgium has dropped significantly in the past few weeks. Whereas peaks of 2,000 registrations were reached on an everyday basis in March, this has decreased to some 500 people in April.

Since the registration centre for refugees from Ukraine opened at Heysel over one month ago, reception services have processed 33,203 registrations. In the first weeks, some 1,500 refugees were visiting the centre every day, however, this number has decreased since.

“Today registrations are lower than in March, but we must not forget that people are still fleeing from the war in their country, and many are in need of long-term housing,” State Secretary for Migration Sammy Mahdi, who shared the latest figures, stated.

He stressed that a daily average of 500 registrations is “many times higher than the regular asylum applications where the average is under 200 asylum seekers per day,” and that people should continue to provide temporary accommodation and sign up to host refugees.

Of the total number of people who fled the war and registered as refugees in Belgium, 98% are Ukrainians, while the remaining 2% have another nationality – meaning they are either spouses or family members of Ukrainians, or people who had previously been granted asylum in Ukraine.

The majority of people registering in Belgium are women (65%), while 30% are younger than 12, and 5% are under the age of two.

Almost 12,000 people (36%) have obtained a national registration number through the municipality, meaning they are included in the foreigners’ register. “Municipalities continue to register everyone and carry out residence checks diligently,” Mahdi said.

“The asylum and migration services have worked extremely hard to ensure that the registrations run smoothly. They faced an unprecedented crisis. Everyone showed flexibility in registering people and assigning them to reception,” he added.

The Brussels-Capital Region has registered 1,013 Ukrainian refugees, while Flanders has taken in 7,281. In Wallonia, 3,545 refugees have been registered.

Around 25% of current registrations, amounting to 8,144 Ukrainian refugees here in Belgium, are in need of shelter. They have been assisted by Fedasil, which allocated them to crisis reception across the country. The need for shelter has increased in recent days, although the total number of registrations has dropped.

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