Several hundred Ukrainian refugees to Alkmaar: hotel as first reception location

Several hundred Ukrainian refugees are expected to be received in the municipality of Alkmaar in the near future, Mayor Anja Schouten said today. Initially they will stay in a hotel, but work is also being done on longer-term care.

“The North Holland North Security Region expects a letter from the cabinet today or tomorrow asking to arrange the reception of refugees,” says Schouten. “That means that Alkmaar must also ensure that we are ready.”

Because this must be arranged quickly, the municipality is in contact with all hotel owners within the municipality, according to alderman Pieter Dijkman. “In this way, we expect to be able to meet central government demand for the time being.”

This does not only concern preparing sleeping places, food, drink and medical supplies must also be ready for the refugees. “The facilities are already there in a hotel, so that helps enormously,” says Dijkman.

Empty office buildings

For the somewhat longer term, the municipality is investigating which office buildings are empty and can easily be used for shelter. “But of course that didn’t happen one, two, three.” The alderman calls it ‘a lucky break’ that there are currently ‘quite a lot’ of vacant office buildings in Alkmaar.

Mayor Schouten also says that she finds it ‘heartwarming’ that so many residents have already offered help. “That’s very nice,” says Dijkman. “Certainly because we also had to put everything in order.”

Inventory how many Ukrainian refugees Alkmaar counts

Part of that list is mapping out how many Ukrainian refugees there are currently in Alkmaar. That is not clear now, because Ukrainians do not have to apply for asylum.

“We really ask whether refugees in Alkmaar can report, even if they are currently staying with family, for example,” says Schouten. “Then we can, for example, provide care or help with other facilities.”

To ensure that Alkmaarders have an online place where they can go for information, the municipality is working on a new page on the website. It will be released ‘as soon as possible’.