Slight rise in number of asylum seekers in Estonia, to 56

A Vao Köök (kitchen) offering street food prepared by residents of the Vao center in June.
A Vao Köök (kitchen) offering street food prepared by residents of the Vao center in June. Source: ERR

A total of 56 people were being accommodated at two asylum seeker centers in Estonia as at the beginning of June, Baltic News Service reports, a rise on the 42 reportedly housed in the centers in early April.

The centers are located in the village of Vao, Lääne-Viru County, about 30 km southwest of Rakvere, and Vägeva, Jõgeva County, another 30 km to the south.

The Vao center was home to 35 people, according to welfare services provider AS Hoolekandeteenused. This figure is split roughly 50:50 between asylum seekers and those actually granted international protection. The bulk of the latter group arrived in Estonia as part of the EU's migration quota.

The Vao figure comprises five families, with four women and 14 children. Those housed at Vao are predominantly from Syria, Georgia and Iran.

Twenty-one people are staying at the Vägeva center, the majority of them asylum seekers. The figure comprises four families, with eight men, eight women and five children.

These residents are from Albania, Egypt, Nigeria, Russia, Turkey and Uganda, BNS reports.

The overall number, while a rise on earlier in the year, is significantly below the 206 accepted down to early 2018, under the EU migrant quota agreed by member states in 2015.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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