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Number of Asylum Seekers to Exceed 700

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Number of Asylum Seekers to Exceed 700

Syrian refugees on the border of Lebanon, 2014

Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Kristín Völundardóttir, head of the Directorate of Immigration, believes the number of asylum seekers in Iceland will exceed 700 this year.

She expressed her concern about the situation in an interview with mbl.is. “We never had solutions for this many [asylum seekers] at once, because we never expected to service more than 300 at a time. Now they exceed 500, which means… the individuals we didn’t anticipate to service, become ever more expensive. By that I mean when we have to buy hotel or guesthouse accommodation, because solutions we had negotiated in advance are fully booked.”

According to Kristín, the Directorate received additional funding of ISK 55 million (USD 479,000, EUR 427,000) last spring, which already has been allocated. Additional staff has been hired: a financial director, a human resources manager, two office clerks and four lawyers to assist asylum seekers.

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