Refugees made to face winter freeze in flip-flops

Asylum seekers in Blekinge County in southern Sweden are facing the chill of winter without socks or proper shoes, as migration authorities have been unable to provide a winter clothing allowance in time.

Refugees made to face winter freeze in flip-flops

Many residents at the Asarum refugee centre are wearing flip-flops and don’t have access to proper winter jackets, reports Sveriges Radio (SR).

Some are sharing clothes given to them by other residents.

“This man is very poor, so I give him my shoes when he goes to buy food. And he hasn’t got a winter jacket either,” Birol Rashidov from Macedonia told SR.

An application to receive a clothing allowance is pending in the hands of the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket).

“The staff at the centre has told us not to worry,” Rashidov said.

A Migration Board spokeswoman Camilla Hegbart said staff there are processing about 150 similar applications at present.

“It’s a shame that this is how it is,” she told SR.

She added that the agency might have to discuss a policy for how to deal with the arrival of winter in the coming years.

However, the asylum seekers at the Asarum centre will probably have to wait for another week before the money comes in that will allow them to get proper winter clothing, said Hegbert.

TT/The Local/at

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