Finland: Ministry struggling with influx of refugees

A similar situation currently exists in Norway and Sweden.


The Interior Ministry is boosting funding to cope with a projected rise in the number of refugees and asylum seekers. It has reserved about 14 million euros in extra funding for municipal costs and reception centre maintenance.

The ministry has revised upward its estimate of how many refugees and asylum seekers will be placed in municipalities as of the end of this year. It now expects more than 2,000 refugees, which exceeds the previous estimate by over 700. Meanwhile the estimated number of asylum seekers has been increased by 1,000.

More funds are particularly needed because of a larger-than-expected number of underage asylum seekers. Ministry officials expect that 500 will arrive this year. Last month alone, 144 underage asylum seekers arrived in Finland.

Authorities have had to hastily arrange places for children and youth, usually in already-full group homes.

Reception centres run by the state and municipalities are also nearly full, despite expanded capacity. At the Joutseno centre in eastern Finland, 250 new beds have been quickly added for a total of 400, while the Oulu centre has been nearly doubled to hold 190 people.

With the latest funding increase, the state is spending more than 80 million euros this year to place refugees and asylum seekers.

Source: YLE (English)

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