Asylum costs

German Towns Plead for Refugee Funding

Zwei Flüchtlingskinder stehen am 01.02.2016 in einer Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung für Flüchtlinge in Hameln (Niedersachsen) vor einer Wand, auf der sich junge Flüchtlinge aus der ganzen Welt mit bunten Handabdrücken verewigt haben. Die Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung ist für die Unterbringung von bis zu 1000 Flüchtlingen gedacht. Foto Julian Stratenschulte/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Two refugee children in a home in the town of Hameln, Lower Saxony.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Cities and municipalities want more support to help house and integrate refugees, but the process for sharing out funds varies significantly from state to state and it’s still not clear how many refugees need to be provided for.

  • Facts


    • Refugee-related costs for local governments have risen dramatically. In the city of Duisburg, they jumped from €33 million in 2015 to €77 million in 2016.
    • Refugees numbers are still uncertain. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) still has 500,000 unprocessed asylum applications.
    • Each German state has its own approach to providing funding to its local municipalities for refugee accommodation.
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After a lengthy struggle, the leaders of the various German states have wrested €7 billion ($7.73 billion) in integration funding from the federal government to deal with the massive influx of over 1 million refugees over the past year.

But the controversy over the cost-sharing of the country’s refugee policy is far from over.

As soon as the agreement between the states and the federal government was finalized, the local authorities began voicing their demands that the money not stay in the “sticky fingers” of the states. Cities like Duisburg, where refugee-related costs more than doubled from €33 million in 2015 to €77 million this year, are in urgent need of more funds.

“The cities expect further support from the states, for example for the expansion of childcare and construction of housing, as well as special funds for the construction and outfitting of classrooms,” said Eva Lohse, president of the Association of German Cities and mayor of Ludwigshafen in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

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