Barcelona and Munich share support strategies for long-term refugees

Technical staff responsible for Munich and Barcelona’s refugee reception plans shared information and experiences this morning on guaranteeing better support for people, particularly those arriving needing long-term support and follow up.

Munich currently has some fifty reception centres in operation, evenly located around the city, and the German city has already taken in thousands of people. Munich is receiving between 350 and 400 people a week, meaning its reception and support plans must consistently perform.

The coordinator of the ‘Barcelona, refuge city’ plan, Ignasi Calbó, and the director of social emergencies, Isabel Ferrer, today met those heading the Munich operation, coinciding on how “a challenge such as this can’t be solved by one single department, instead an integrated and coordinated effort is needed”. Those heading the Munich plan also stressed the importance of political consensus to address society and the need for civil society to play an important role.

One of the aspects the Munich team stressed is the need for reception centres and housing to be evenly distributed around the city and the local area, a factor the Barcelona team also agreed on.

Munich has two accommodation solutions for refugees arriving in the city. Firstly, a primary reception centres for a maximum period of two weeks. After that, a more stable centre is used, with housing and communal areas. This morning Calbó and Ferrer visited work on one of these centres, which will have a capacity for some 300 people.