Sweden preparing tents, sports halls as Ukraine refugees arrive

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The flag of Ukraine waves in the wind at City Hall, in Stockholm, Sweden February 24, 2022. TT News Agency/Claudio Breskiani via REUTERS

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STOCKHOLM, March 9 (Reuters) - Sweden is preparing tents, sports halls, warehouses and exhibition centres to house a growing number of Ukrainian refugees, Immigration Minister Anders Ygeman said on Wednesday.

Around 2,000 refugees arrived in Sweden on Tuesday alone, Ygeman said, roughly doubling the number who have so far come to escape the fighting.

The Migration Board is preparing to house around 30,000 refugees from Ukraine in total over the coming months with around 12,000 beds need "immediately" or "shortly". The total number of Ukrainians coming to Sweden could be higher as the majority of those arriving so far are staying with relatives.

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"It's not just tents we are going to use, it will be warehouses, exhibition centres, sports halls," Ygeman told reporters.

"The Migration Board is doing all it can to make sure that those people who come also have a roof over their heads."

He said that Sweden had not received any requests to take reallocations of refugees who had arrived in countries like Poland, adding that it was unlikely Sweden would do so.

"I have a hard time seeing that Sweden would be in a situation where we can take realloactions from other countries," he said.

"We have quite a strong flow to Sweden - it is very likely that we will take our fair share of refugees through those who make their way to Sweden by themselves."

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Reporting by Simon Johnson; Editing by Johan Ahlander

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