This year more refugees than ever have entered Iceland, already totaling at 1,887 refugees, reports RÚV.
Of the 1,887 refugees, 1,215 are from Ukraine and Gylfi Þór Þorsteinsson, the operations manager for the arrival of refugees from Ukraine, believes the number of Ukrainian refugees will increase in the autumn. Currently, six to eight refugees arrive every day.
It is possible that more than 3,000 refugees could come into the country this year. The highest refugee numbers in the past have been between 1,100 and 1,200.
“We can see that if this continues, the flow of refugees to Iceland this year will possibly approach 3,000, and we need to adjust our response so that we can accommodate such a large number,” says Gylfi.
Providing work for the refugees has been successful, with more than 300 people finding employment through the Directorate of Labour. However, housing is hard to find and the Immigration Service’s short-term facilities are overfilled.
“People are perhaps staying longer in these short-term solutions than we had hoped for,” says Gylfi. “The reason why people are staying longer is both that there is a shortage of rental housing in the country as a whole, as well as rental prices are relatively high in Iceland, and therefore it is more difficult for people to leave our short-term housing than we had hoped.”
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