National information

Refugeehelp.NL

You can find lots of information for refugees staying in the Netherlands at www.refugeehelp.nl. The information on this platform is available in Dutch, English, Ukrainian and Russian. The website explains how assistance to refugees is organised at the national level. Please note that other arrangements may apply or be organised for you in the municipality where you are staying.

Topics on which you can find more information on Refugeehelp:

Red Cross support hotline

The Red Cross has provided a WhatsApp support hotline for Ukrainian refugees. You can send a WhatsApp (voice) message to +31 6 48 15 80 53. You can do this in Ukrainian, Russian or English. More information about the WhatsApp support hotline:

A volunteer will contact you as soon as possible in the language of your choice.

Regional information for refugees in Zuid-Holland-Zuid

The Zuid-Holland Zuid region includes the following municipalities: Dordrecht, Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, Zwijndrecht, Alblasserdam, Gorinchem, Hardinxveld-Giessendam, Papendrecht, Sliedrecht, Molenlanden and Hoeksche Waard.

Websites of the municipalities with information for refugees

The municipalities have set up websites with information for refugees. These are listed below. A lot of the information on these websites is in Dutch.

Housing

If you are searching for housing in one of the municipalities in this region, contact the municipality or call the police at 0900-8844 (Dutch and English).

Phone numbers of the municipalities:

  • Alblasserdam: 14 078 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)
  • Dordrecht: 14 078 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)
  • Gorinchem: 14 0183
  • Hardinxveld-Giessendam: 14 0184
  • Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht: 14 078 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)
  • Hoeksche Waard: 14 0186
  • Molenlanden: 088 75 15 000
  • Papendrecht: 14 078 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)
  • Sliedrecht: 14 0184
  • Zwijndrecht: 14 078 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)

You will be taken to a reception centre as soon as possible. We will immediately try to offer you a place where you can stay for a longer period of time. You may also first be sent to the emergency accommodation in Gorinchem first. There you will receive a warm welcome as well as food and a place to sleep. From there we will make sure that you are transferred to another reception centre as soon as possible, where you can stay for a longer period of time. If our reception centres are full, we will ensure that you get a place in another region.

Are you staying with someone else and are you searching for other housing? Contact the municipality where you are staying or that you want to move to.

Support in the reception centre

There are people at almost all reception centres who can help you. You can contact them with all your questions. The site manager liaises with the municipality and the safety region. Arrangements have also been made at all sites so you can receive care quickly if you need it. Enquire with the site manager.

Housing on a ship

We live in a region with plenty of water. Some of the accommodation is on a cruise ship. These Rhine cruise ships are intended for sailing holidays.

Which ships are being used as reception centres?

Currently there are two ships:

  • Bellissima in Zwijndrecht

This ship has double rooms with your own bathroom in the cabin. There is Wi-Fi on board and a number of central areas for cooking and such. Watch the video for more information about this ship.

BedroomRoom with couch

  • BellRiva in Dordrecht

Ship bellrivaRoom with couch

This ship has double rooms with your own bathroom in the cabin. There is Wi-Fi on board and a number of central areas for cooking and such. Watch the video for more information about this ship.

Who can stay on these ships?

Unfortunately pets are not allowed on these cruise ships. We also cannot accept children under the age of 12. Children under twelve years of age sometimes climb on things without thinking and this is unsafe when you are on or near water.

Is the accommodation on cruise ships safe?

The accommodation on cruise ships is safe. These are large ships. The ships are moored at a quay and there are ship gangways so you can safely exit or board the ship.

Registration/Registration and living allowance

To receive a living allowance and to be able to benefit from other assisstance, it is important that you register with the municipality. Even if you are only planning to stay in the Netherlands for a short time. You can register with the municipality where you are staying.

Several municipalities in the region have a living allowance scheme:

Return to Ukraine

Do you wish to return to Ukraine? You can choose to arrange this yourself. But you can also receive assistance and support from the Repatriation and Departure Service. They will put you into contact with a coordinator and together you will discuss the possibilities to leave the Netherlands. You will receive information and advice, support for travel documents (including replacements) and any transport assistance needed. Would you like support in returning to Ukraine? Send an email to [email protected] in Dutch, English or Ukrainian and you will be contacted as soon as possible.

Please note: It is important that you deregister from the municipality where you currently live if you decide to leave the Netherlands.

Health care

You can find information about national health care at www.refugeehelp.nl.

I have recently arrived in the Netherlands and need medical care

When refugees arrive at the reception centre in Gorinchem from Ukraine, there is usually a local doctor available.  He or she checks whether you need medical care and which medication you take.

Medical care in a municipal reception centre

If you need medical care, you can always find a health care provider near the reception centre. Enquire with the site manager. Each site manager has an information sheet with a list of nearby doctors, dentists, gynaecologists, orthodontists, chemists, youth care and so on. There is always a doctor available during the day, in the evening, during the night and on weekends.

Some of the reception centres in our region also organise consultations with a doctor at the reception centre.

Medical care for people staying with private individuals

You are also entitled to medical care when staying with private individuals. You must visit the health care provider of your host family in that case. Do you need a doctor or a dentist? Go to the doctor or dentist of your host family.

I need mental health help. Where can I find this?

Talk to a doctor if you need mental health help. The doctor will refer you to more specialised mental health care. Enquire with the site manager or your host family about the nearest doctor.

Will I be billed for mental health care?

Medically necessary care is reimbursed. This is done under the basispakket or basic Dutch health insurance. You don’t have to pay for this. The basic health insurance does not cover dental care (as of 18 years of age) or eyeglasses and contact lenses. You must pay for this yourself. Some exceptions apply: dental care for children under the age of 18 is reimbursed; medically necessary oral care such as jaw surgery or a fully removable prosthesis are also reimbursed.

The site managers of the reception centres can provide you with an information sheet with information about which treatments are reimbursed.

You can find more information online at Rijksoverheid.nl about what is covered under the basic package and which treatments are reimbursed.

What if I require care that is not provided as part of the basic package?

To cover the costs of care services provided as part of the basic package, care providers can apply for a subsidy through the CAK (Central Administration Office). Is care required that is not included in the basic package? Contact the municipality, which will then determine whether the care and costs are necessary and that the refugee cannot be expected to pay for these costs. The municipality (mayor) can then decide to reimburse these costs.

Do I need health care insurance?

If you are registered with the municipality, have received a BSN citizen service number and will be working in the Netherlands, you are required to take out health insurance. You pay a monthly premium and – if you want to – an excess fee or deductible called eigen risico as well as an additional cover for specific treatments.  You may possibly be entitled to a healthcare allowance (zorgtoeslag). You can find more information online at Zorgverzekeringslijn.nl (English and Ukrainian versions available).

Are refugees from Ukraine vaccinated in the Netherlands?

Refugees from Ukraine join the Dutch National Immunisation Programme, to prevent an increase of polio, measles and COVID infections. The Dutch Public Health Service GGD (Jong JGZ) provides information about this and also gives these vaccinations. They visit the reception centres.

Corona/COVID19

Information about the coronavirus, government advice and vaccination can be found at Pharos.nl (Ukrainian version available) or Vragenovercorona.nl (Ukrainian version available).

Do you have symptoms of coronavirus? Take a self-test. Did you test positive? Stay at home (self-isolation). The people who live in your house must check whether they must quarantine. You can do this online at Quarantainecheck.rijksoverheid.nl (English version available). Contact the site manager of your reception centre in case of doubt or if you have questions. Contact the local doctor if you are staying with private individuals.

Transportation

Ukrainian refugees travel for free on all public transport in the Netherlands during their flight. You can find more information at www.ov-nl.nl/vrij-reisrecht-voor-oekraiense-vluchtelingen (in Dutch).

Safety

Emergencies

Emergencies: call 112.
You can find general information about safety and help online at www.refugeehelp.nl.

Safety of your accommodation

Please contact your site manager if you feel unsafe in your reception centre. If you are staying with someone in their home and you feel unsafe, please call the police at 0900-8844.

Coercion, exploitation and work conditions

For help and assistance with coercion and exploitation, contact www.comensha.nl/en (in English). For help and advice on work conditions, contact Fairwork (also in Ukrainian).

You can also find more information in:

School, daytime activities and work

School

The municipalities in our region are working together to offer appropriate solutions for education. As soon as more is known about regional solutions, we will provide an update here.

If you have any questions about education at the moment, contact the municipality where you are staying.

Daytime activities

www.refugeehelp.nl will connect you with organisations that offer various activities, such as Dutch language lessons or sport, music and theatre activities for children through the Youth Fund for Sport and Culture. The municipality where you are staying may also organise activities and/or meetings.

Work

Check www.refugeehelp.nl for more information.

Want to help?

Do you want to offer help during your stay in the Netherlands, for example by helping with education or activities for other refugees from Ukraine? Contact the municipality where you are staying to discuss what is possible. There are also various options at the national level, check www.refugeehelp.nl.

Pets

You can find out what to do if you brought a pet at www.refugeehelp.nl. If you bring a pet to a reception centre, have the site manager arrange for your pet to be checked by a vet and receive the necessary vaccinations and passport.

If you are staying with a host family, check if you need to make arrangements for your pet at the NVWA-website (also in Ukrainian, Russian and English).

Phone numbers municipalities

  • Alblasserdam 14 078 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301) 
  • Dordrecht 14 078 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)  
  • Gorinchem 14 0183
  • Hardinxveld-Giessendam 14 0184
  • Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht 14 078 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)
  • Hoeksche Waard 14 0186
  • Molenlanden 088 75 15 000
  • Papendrecht 14 078 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)  
  • Sliedrecht 14 0184 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)

Information for refugees

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