Refugees living in inhumane conditions in Netherlands reception camp

By Imane Rachidi

Ter Apel, Netherlands, Aug 26 (EFE).- Refugees in Dutch reception camps are living in poor conditions that brings back memories of the squalid Moria refugee camp in Greece.

Feces floating in an outdoor toilet, refugees living under make-shift tents and volunteers scrambling to heal wounds and infections with scant resources are just some of the inhumane conditions reported by volunteers working at the camp in Ter Apel, northern Netherlands.

“People are here in a situation that is not humane, it should not be like that, in any country but especially not in a European country like Holland,” spokeswoman for Doctors Without Borders, (MSF), Monique Nagelkerke, told Efe.

Women, some of them pregnant, and children arrive at the reception camp where men are crammed together, lying on the floor or under tents. Others, however, have nothing to protect them from the colder weather that is about to come to the country

“The situation remains the same, which is bad, it is not the conditions you want to have people living in, they have no proper shelter, they have no proper blankets, it is going to get colder and it is going to get wet,” Nagelkerke said.

The refugees, who do not want to reveal their names out of fear it will interfere with their asylum process, come from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Eritrea, Sudan and Uganda.

“I am scared to death by the situation,” Fadua, 39, a refugee who has just arrived from Lebanon with her three children, said, adding that she hopes to be able to leave the Ter Apel camp as soon as possible.

Many of the refugees are suffering from wounds and skin infections due to the lack of hygiene.

“We already see health problems, (…) but now as the weather gets colder and it’s going to get wetter we can see more problems,” Nagelkerke warned.

It is the first time MSF has had to deploy a team of volunteers to help refugees in the Netherlands, the eurozone’s fifth largest economy.

“Ter Apel is the Dutch Moria,” member of the European Parliament, Sophie in ‘t Veld, denounced in a letter to the European Commission.

Over the past few days, some 700 people have spent the night outdoors waiting for their turn to register at the reception center.

Ter Apel is the first step for formal asylum application in the Netherlands. The process, which should take a few days, is taking up to three months, according to the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). EFE


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