Resettlement of 964 refugees in 2021

Fedasil resettlement
Despite the saturation of the reception network and the health crisis, 964 refugees could be resettled in Belgium last year.

Last year, Belgium resettled 964 refugees on its territory. The aim was to resettle 1,463 people in 2021 but due to the saturation of Fedasil’s reception network and an increase in asylum applications in Belgium, the arrival of the other refugees has been delayed. The priority was given to the most vulnerable people.

The resettled persons were essentially Syrians (908 persons) who were in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. The other refugees came from Sudan, Eritrea, South Sudan and Ethiopia. Among the resettled persons, 24 refugees arrived as part of the UNHCR evacuation programme. They were evacuated from Libyan detention centres.

The last transfer of refugees, scheduled for December 2021, was eventually cancelled. The persons selected for resettlement and who couldn't ultimately be transferred will travel in 2022.

The detailed figures regarding resettlements in Belgium are available here below.

Different reception models

The refugees can follow different reception paths in Belgium. Most of them are received in one of the five Fedasil centres specialised in the reception of resettled refugees (Kapellen, Florennes, Morlanwelz, Pondrôme and Saint-Trond). After 6 weeks in the centre, they move for a period of six months to an individual housing managed by a Public Centre for Social Welfare (PCSW) or by Caritas International.

In some cases, the resettled persons are accommodated via other paths, depending on their specific needs. In 2021, 15 refugees moved to local structures in Belgium thanks to ‘Community Sponsorship’, a project carried out in partnership with Caritas International.

Despite the crisis situation, Fedasil has thus been able to guarantee a number of transfers via reception paths outside its regular network.

Resettlement? The resettlement programme involves the selection and transfer of refugees from a country in which they have sought protection to a third country. This way, the project offers a solution to refugees who cannot rely on sufficient protection in the country of first reception or who do not have any prospect for integration.

The resettlement programme in Belgium benefits from European funding (AMIF funds).