Faced with rising numbers of asylum seekers, Switzerland’s government is under pressure to invest more money to reduce the strain on the country’s overloaded refugee housing. This week, the Federal Council requested parliament approve a loan of CHF 132.9 million to cover the cost, reported RTS.
Already in 2023, 27,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Switzerland, reported the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) on Wednesday. Switzerland is recording between 1,600 and 1,800 new demands a month in addition to the around 66,000 refugees it has welcomed on S permits – these have been issued mainly to Ukrainian refugees. Refugee arrivals are not expected to peak before autumn.
For Switzerland to accommodate the current and continued influx of refugees it will need to build more accommodation as quickly as possible, said the Federal Council.
A plan, which will be decided on before summer, involving the construction of temporary housing using shipping containers is currently being considered. A similar solution has been successfully implemented before in the canton of Bern.
At the same time there is friction over who should pay for the extra infrastructure. The federal government, which is struggling to keep it spending within constitutional limits, hopes it can push the cost to the cantons. However, there is push back from some cantons that argue asylum is a federal matter.