Baby dies at center for asylum seekers in Netherlands

Baby dies at center for asylum seekers in Netherlands

State secretary says he is deeply shocked by death

By Selman Aksunger

AMSTERDAM (AA) - A three-month-old infant died this week at a center for asylum seekers in the Netherlands, shining a spotlight on the lack of adequate accommodations for refugees in the country, which has become a national crisis.

In a statement, the Health and Youth Care Inspectorate said the baby died Wednesday morning in the sports hall of the reception center for asylum seekers in Ter Apel village.

The statement noted that the cause of death is being investigated.

“A three-month-old baby died last night in the sports hall in Ter Apel. Like everyone, I am deeply shocked by this terrible event,” State Secretary Eric van der Burg said on Twitter.

-Accommodation crisis

The overcrowded conditions at the asylum application center in Ter Apel, which lasted for months, turned into a national crisis.

While the Dutch government was attempting to address the problem, the Dutch Red Cross set up tents in the garden of the center due to the lack of beds but removed them following a backlash.

Despite the removal of the tents, many refugees, including women, children and the elderly, continued to sleep in the garden.

The Dutch government has been struggling to find places for asylum seekers due to the lack of space at asylum centers and the inability of municipalities to provide shelter to refugees.

While the government was attempting to facilitate the transfer of a hotel purchased in the village of Albergen to the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) to accommodate 300 refugees, it faced protests from local residents.

In addition, Van der Burg had proposed to turn cruisers into temporary accommodation centers as a way to help resolve the problem.

*Writing by Seda Sevencan

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