Gylfi Thor Thorsteinsson, operations manager for the arrival of refugees, believes up to 4,000 refugees could arrive in Iceland before the end of the year, reports RÚV.
Almost 2,200 refugees have already arrived in Iceland this year, with 1,300 from Ukraine.
“The war is far from over and the project is just beginning,” says Gylfi who believes there is no end in sight of people fleeing Ukraine.
“Right now, people are coming from places that have been bombed for weeks. These people are naturally broken and scarred in their soul. People just need time to settle in their souls and recover before going about their daily lives,” says Gylfi.
Currently, there is not a shortage of jobs for the incoming refugees, however, there is a shortage of housing. Gylfi is encouraging Icelanders to offer their houses and properties as potential long-term rentals for refugees.
“It has proven difficult for people to find rental housing on the private market, both because there is little supply and also because it is just very expensive to rent in Iceland,” says Gylfi.
Gylfi believes the refugee systems in the country have done a good job so far, but wants to remind everyone the work is not done yet.
“We all want to do well and everyone is pulling together,” says Gylfi. “We have to keep it up because the war is not over and the people will keep coming. We just have to keep in mind that this is really just the beginning.”
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