2020 Annual report
The year 2020 was characterised by the coronavirus crisis, which, from March onwards, added an extra dimension to the saturation of the reception network observed in Belgium since the end of 2018.
In this context, Fedasil has taken various preventive measures to keep the health situation under control, and to increase the reception capacity so we could better distribute residents and anticipate the resumption of asylum applications.
« I am proud to write that the medical situation in our centres has remained under control », explains Michael Kegels, Director General of Fedasil. « All the credit for this goes to our teams in the field, who have shown commitment, solidarity and courage in a very difficult working environment. »
In 2020, 13,645 people joined the Fedasil reception network (40% fewer than in 2019). Afghanistan was the main country of origin (19% of arrivals in the network).
« At the same time, Fedasil is continuing to optimise its reception network. With the support of the government, we are designing a reception model that will be able to react quickly to potential crises, with sufficient buffer spaces », adds Michael Kegels.
Fewer voluntary returns
In 2020, 1,847 people returned voluntarily to their country of origin. This was a drop of 24% compared to the previous year.
As of March 2020, several destinations were difficult or impossible to reach, and the situation in Belgium as well as in the countries of origin did not always allow for a return. However, many returns were organised thanks to the efficiency of the International Organization for Migration (IOM, partner in the travel arrangements) and sustained contact with embassies.
This review presents the events and statistics for 2020 regarding reception, resettlement and voluntary returns. It is available in English (PDF version only), French and Dutch.
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