At least 8,000 refugees waiting for their appointments at the Immigration Office spent at least one night in the WTC III building in Brussels, reveals the Red Cross in a press release on Friday. The building offers 500 beds and is open 24/7. New arrivals can register in the early afternoon or in the evening, says the organisation.
On Thursday night, 88 refugees slept at WTC including 18 who had no appointments, of which 4 were unaccompanied minors, reveals the Red Cross, which the federal government has put in charge of refugee reception since September 7th.
The B wing of the WTC III has become a sort of “buffer” zone since last week; it offers beds to refugees already registered at the Immigration Office but awaiting an allocated space in an organised facility. Refugees who say they will voluntarily return to their home country can also stay there until they fly home.
When refugees stay over at WTC III they get access to showers, hot meals and healthcare. Theoretically, only people with an official convocation letter for a later date from the Immigration Office are welcome in the building, but people without have been accommodated from day 1. They are mostly women, children, and sick or vulnerable people who reached the Immigration Office after opening hours.