About A Million ISK Going To House Asylum Seeker Families - The Reykjavik Grapevine

About A Million ISK Going To House Asylum Seeker Families

Published November 9, 2015

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Shadowgate/Wikimedia Commons

The Directorate of Immigration (UTL) will put 1 million ISK towards housing for three asylum seeker families coming to Hafnarfjörður, and pay additional costs totaling some 1.5 billion ISK to the town.

RÚV reports that these are amongst the terms of an agreement signed between UTL and Hafnarfjörður last month. Comparable agreements have been made between UTL and the town of Reykjanesbær, as well as Reykjavík.

Amongst the other costs UTL will cover, they will also pay out 13,000 to 18,000 ISK per week per family for groceries, in addition to 2,700 ISK per week in pocket money for adults, and 1,000 ISK per week for children.

Many municipalities in Iceland have already expressed a willingness to take in refugee families from Syria. As reported, public support has been quickly growing to accept more asylum seekers to Iceland. Minister of Welfare Eygló Harðardóttir, upon whom the situation ultimately rests, told Vísir that she does not want to set a “maximum number” of refugees that Iceland could accept. Responding to the outcry from the general public, she said, “I encourage people to get in touch with the ministry and the Red Cross and ask how they can help. People need jobs, shelter, and clothes, for example, and to learn how the banking system works. … I encourage people to get in touch with us and offer their help, because we can do a lot more.”

This led to a public outpouring of support, especially evident in the creation of a Facebook group called “Dear Eylgó Harðar”. Thousands of people have Liked the page, with many Icelanders publicly offering clothing, food, work and even places to live for the asylum seekers Iceland welcomes, however many they may be.

The government is still working out the finer points of their plan of action, but the first group is expected to arrive this December.

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