Euskadi prepares for a possible increase in migrants in transit | Radio Bilbao

Basque institutions They are working to enable the necessary resources to face the possible increase in migrants in transit from the middle of this month after the easing of movements in the European Union since Wednesday.

In the first five months of this year, 31% fewer migrants have arrived in Spain than in 2019 for the declaration of the state of alarm and the closing of the borders.

But as of the middle of this month, with the foreseeable end of the confinement in Maghreb countries and the recovery of part of the entry into the EU of citizens of fifteen countries, among which are Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Rwanda, a progressive increase is foreseeable.

The Department of Employment and Social Policies of the Basque Government has explained that although it is not possible to make an exact forecast of the number of people who may arrive this year in the Basque Country as migrants in transit, it estimates that this increase can be given from the second semester this year encouraged by greater freedom of movement between countries.

For the care of these migrants in transit who arrive in the Basque Country from the southern coasts of Spain, an inter-institutional contingency plan has been developed for years, which this year has been reviewed due to the effect of the covid-19.

After intensifying relations with the Secretary of State for Migration of the Spanish Government, Hana Jalloul, the Basque Government has already maintained contacts with provincial councils and city councils to update the device and plans have been made three performance scenarios to receive at specific moments an influx of between 100 to 400 people on the same day.

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In a first scenario, Last year’s traffic flows are estimated, with the arrival of one hundred people in a single day. The hostels of Irun, Bilbao, Vitoria, Oñati and Berriz They must adapt their places to the new limitations generated by the risk of contagion, with special attention to people in the most vulnerable situation.

In a second possible scenario, the arrival flows can double those of 2019, and occasionally, at certain times, the arrival of up to 200 people in a day could be registered, with which it is analyzed the possibility of opening a new resource in Gipuzkoa.

Finally, in a exceptional third scenario the influx of up to 400 people will be able to be attended in a single day, with the maintenance of the resources that are already in place and the opening of emergency facilities in the three territories.

In addition, due to the health crisis, the users of these resources will have to be identified in a more exhaustive way in order to be able to guarantee the traceability of movements of those who intend to enter the center and avoid, in this way, possible infections by the coronavirus.

Along with the general recommendations to maintain a safe distance, the use of masks and other hygiene measures, inside the centers the Red Cross is setting up spaces in which care can be given to those who present symptoms compatible with the disease .

These types of measures, the Basque Government explained, have the objective of protecting both migrants in transit and avoiding possible outbreaks such as the one that occurred in a reception center in Malaga, as well as the Red Cross workers themselves.

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During 2019, the network of Basque shelters for migrants in transit served a total of 4,244 people, of which 82% were received in the Irun center and the rest in the Bilbao center. January was the month with the highest number of arrivals and the most attended.

95% of the people received continued their journey before the end of their first five days stay in Euskadi.

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