Amsterdam will temporarily house 1,000 migrants on a cruise ship moored in its port following recently approved plans.
The Netherlands grapples with a massive accommodation crisis that witnessed hundreds of asylum seekers sleep outside a reception centre last week.
The vessel will be moored for at least six months in Amsterdam.
The capital is now the second city in the country to grant the plans for keeping migrants temporarily on a cruise liner.
In these cases, the vessels will remain moored so that the residents can exit and enter at all times.
The cruise vessel isn’t in Amsterdam yet but will be used from 1 October.
Mark Rutte, the Prime Minister, mentioned on Friday that he was ashamed of the situation at the asylum reception centre in the remote village of Ter Apel, where almost 700 migrants were compelled to spend outside in unsanitary scenarios as there was a dearth of space inside for them.
The Dutch arm of Doctors Without Borders has reportedly sent a team to the camp to offer medical help to the migrants; this is the first time the agency has deployed to the Netherlands.
Rutger Groot Wassink, the Amsterdam alderman, mentioned that the Ter Apel scenario is heartbreaking, and the accommodation shortage needs to be solved together so that the refugees can find a safe place.
Groot Wassink referred to the cruise ship as a temporary and short-term solution and mentioned that the Dutch government would collaborate with municipalities to reform the country’s asylum system.
A reason behind such a massive crisis is a nationwide shortage of housing facilities.
Once the asylum seekers are given their refugee status, several individuals cannot find a place to stay and have to put up in refugee centres that were meant to serve as temporary accommodations only for those awaiting decisions on asylum applications.
Eric van der Burg, the migration minister in charge, thanked Amsterdam, mentioning that a large-scale, temporary accommodation is essential to restore calm to the current asylum accommodation situation.
References: Sky News, LA Times