BRUSSELS (Brussels Morning) – Between March 4 and 21, 5,392 Ukrainian refugees arrived in Brussels by train. Every day in the South Station, about 500 people pass by the counter of Bruss’help, the regional service for help to the homeless. This is apparent from the answer of the Brussels government during the topical debate on Thursday afternoon in the Brussels Parliament.
Minister Elke Van den Brandt answered on behalf of the government – Prime Minister Rudi Vervoort is currently on a mission in Congo – to a series of questions from a dozen MPs from the majority and opposition.
She announced the appointment of Pierre Verbeeren as coordinator of the Brussels aid program for Ukrainian refugees. Juan Benjumea (Green) and Bianca Debaets (CD&V), among others, had insisted on this.
Celine Frémault (Les Engagés) announced that she will request the creation of a monitoring committee for Ukrainian refugees in the Brussels Parliament. Cieltje Van Achter (N-VA) and Veronique Jamoulle (PS) drew attention to the fact that the vaccination rate in Ukraine is very low.
The Bruss’help counter in the South Station should inform the refugees and direct them to the Fedasil registration centre. In addition, it provides emergency shelter in hotels, the centres of Samusocial or in rooms of citizens.
In addition, the Red Cross, Samusocial, the Plateforme Citoyenne de soutien aux réfugiés and Doucheflux also provide reception, information and accommodation for Ukrainian families arriving at the South Station. Bruss’Help provides a shuttle service to the Heysel and has organised a ticket system for access to the registration.
The Brussels government also emphasised that a lot has already been done in the Brussels Region since the “provincial” crisis phase was declared, such as setting up reception facilities for refugees, cooperation with the ‘housing tool’ of Fedasil after registration with the Immigration Office, listing the places foreseen in the municipal emergency plans.
Possible problems in the field are monitored through the coordination committee set up in the context of the provincial phase, participation in the federal coordination committee set up by the National Crisis Centre and permanent consultation with various Brussels cabinets and administrations and the provincial governors.
In addition, a consultative body has also been established with the municipalities.