New refugee center opens doors in Liepna, Latvia

At the end of August, the new asylum-seeker accommodation center in Liepna, Alūksne municipality, will house its first 50 inhabitants, Latvian Television and Latvian Radio reported on August 17.

The new asylum-seeker center is around 230 kilometers from Rīga. It turns out that the distant location was chosen because Alūksne municipality was the only one that offered buildings for that purpose.

Citizenship and Migration Affairs Office representative Madara Puķe said that another asylum accommodation center was needed because of the increased number of asylum seekers in Latvia due to the hybrid war of Belarus. In 2020 there were 150 asylum seekers in Latvia, while 550 applications were received in 2021.

The center is set up in a former boarding school building in Liepna – dormitories that have stood empty for some time after the school was closed.

The Liepna center is, in some ways, a branch of the existing Mucenieki asylum center. The principle of action will be similar, said the center's chief executive Loreta Jargane.

The Liepna Center could accommodate around 250 inhabitants. Some room equipment is still missing, but it is a matter of days, and it is planned that the first asylum seekers will be housed here at the end of August. These spaces will mostly be fitted for those without children or dependents.


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