The town of Haapsalu has informed the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs that it is not prepared and not able to provide necessary and sufficient services to more asylum-seekers than the three refugee families it has already accepted this year.
Haapsalu Mayor Urmas Sukles noted in a letter to the ministry on Thursday that the town has accepted three families with children as part of the refugee relocation program this year.
"Work with beneficiaries of international protection is something that municipalities have never done before," wrote Sukles, who noted that the integration process was very resource-intensive for support persons, kindergarten teachers and relevant officials alike as there were no previous practices to refer to in Estonia.
"In the near future, we will be focusing on providing kindergarten teachers with additional know-how and skills, preparing the children for school and preparingour basic schools for the admittance of students with a different native language," explained the mayor. "Work to ensure the families' day-to-day coping and providing of additional psychological support as needed continues." Sukles added, however, that Haapsalu would not be able to provide necessary and sufficient services to more asylum-seekers at this point.
On Friday, the Ministry of Social Affairs allocated 15,000 euros, at a rate of 3,000 euross per person, to Haapsalu to help finance procedures necessary for the support of the asylum-seekers who arrived in the northwestern regional capital in September.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla