Arrival center at former airport in operation

Arrival center at former airport in operation

Day after day, thousands of refugees from Ukraine arrive in Berlin with trains or buses. No one knows how many more will come.

  • Eröffnung des Ukraine-Ankunftszentrums TXL (3)© dpa
    Refugees from Ukraine arrive at the newly built arrival center on the tarmac from the former TXL airport.
  • Eröffnung des Ukraine-Ankunftszentrums TXL (2)© dpa
    An arrival center for refugees from Ukraine has been built inside the terminal of the former TXL airport.
  • Eröffnung des Ukraine-Ankunftszentrums TXL (1)© dpa
    An arrival center for refugees from Ukraine has been built on the tarmac of the former TXL airport.
  • Eröffnung des Ukraine-Ankunftszentrums TXL (4)© dpa
    Soldiers of the Bundeswehr help refugees from Ukraine in a newly built arrival center on the tarmac of the former TXL airport.
  • Eröffnung des Ukraine-Ankunftszentrums TXL© dpa
    Franziska Giffey (SPD), Governing Mayor of Berlin, speaks at a press conference.
An arrival center for Ukrainian refugees has begun operations on the site of the decommissioned Tegel Airport on Sunday (March 20, 2022). A center of this form and scale is quite unique, Berlin's Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey stated during a visit of the former airport site. All refugees arriving in Berlin are to be registered at the arrival center, which, according to the Senate, has capacity for up to 10,000 people per day.

Around 26 million euros for the reception, care and distribution of refugees to date

Since the Russian attack on Ukraine more than three weeks ago, Berlin has been a port of call for many people seeking refuge in Germany. From the arrival center in Tegel, many people are expected to travel on to other federal states after a short stay. According to initial preliminary figures, the state of Berlin has so far spent around 26 million euros on the reception, care and distribution of refugees from Ukraine. Giffey, who gave the sum on Sunday, stated that social benefits for the refugees were not yet included in the 26 million euros. She once again demanded that the federal government bear part of the costs. An agreement on funding had to be drawn up by April 7 - the date of the next Minister Presidents' Conference (MPK) - she said.
At the last MPK, the federal and state governments agreed to approach the reception of war refugees as a joint task and to set the course for rapid integration. The goal of achieving a "swift and fair" distribution of refugees and "absorbing and cushioning" existing overloads in individual states was formulated in a joint resolution.

Registration at 120 counters

At the Arrival Center TXL - which was the abbreviation for the former Tegel Airport - registration takes place at 120 counters. According to the Senate Department for Social Services, welfare organizations are providing around 200 staff to look after and accompany the arriving refugees. Soldiers from the German armed forces have also been on duty for several days. According to the Senate, this support has been approved until March 31, but the State Office for Refugee Affairs hopes that the military assistance will be extended. From Monday, employees of the state administration will also help in the arrival center, Giffey announced.

"The trial run went well".

Giffey, who is Berlin's head of government, also spoke of a certain need for readjustment: for example, the onward distribution of refugees with buses still had to be adapted to correspond to the reported vacant accommodations. "Nevertheless, even if of course things are still jolting and we are still in the discovery process here, we have had a lot of great successes and the trial run went well," said Giffey. She had recently repeatedly emphasized that the German capital could not handle the reception and distribution of refugees on its own.

30 to 40 percent of arriving people are children

Senator for Social Services Katja Kipping (Left Party) explained that 30 to 40 percent of the arriving people were children. The next big task, she said, was integration and access to schools, daycare centers and the labor market. Giffey said she would like to see job counseling services offered to refugees at the arrival center in the future.
Author: dpa/deepl.com
Publication date: 21. March 2022
Last updated: 21. March 2022

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