Walloon social service centres want help to better assist Ukrainian refugees

Walloon social service centres want help to better assist Ukrainian refugees
Belga / Siska Gremmelprez

Wallonia's Public Social Services Centres, CPAS, are urging the federal and Walloon governments to provide them with more support so that they can better assist Ukrainian refugees, the centres indicated on Thursday.

“Out of 56,000 Ukrainians benefiting from temporary protection certificates issued by the Foreigners' Office, the CPAS have helped around 44,000, including 12,000 in Wallonia,” the Federation of Walloon CPAS (UVCW) announced on Thursday. "This means that today 80% of Ukrainians are in the CPAS, compared to 50% at the start of the crisis."

"Moreover, these populations are added to those already weakened by other crises," the UVCW said.

"Taking this situation into account, the UVCW would like the coordination for the management of this Ukrainian crisis to be strengthened, at both the federal and Walloon levels," it added.

The CPAS said further that they needed confirmation of the temporary protection status of the Ukrainian refugees. They also want confirmation that the federal authorities would continue reimbursing the social assistance given to the refugees at the rate of 125% at least.

Where Wallonia is concerned, the UVCW is calling on the region to increase the staffing of the CPAS since they need, in particular, to support the refugees in collective accommodation structures.

Broadly speaking, the Walloon CPAS point out that the reception of applicants for international protection must be reviewed. In addition, the subsidising of local reception initiatives needs to be clarified and buffer sites for accomodating refugees need to be released quickly, they note.

Finally, the UVCW suggests an evaluation of the current reception model as a whole, and of the role of the CPAS in that regard

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