Asylum applications take a dive

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The number of persons seeking asylum in Norway fell by 40 percent last month, down to just 711. Immigration authorities said the total number of asylum applications so far this year is down 39 percent, to 1,552.

It remains unclear whether the reduction is a direct result of government efforts to stem the tide of would-be refugees into Norway. Norway last year faced record numbers of persons seeking asylum in the country, and asylum reception centers were packed.

News bureau NTB reports that most of those seeking asylum in Norway last month came from Eritrea, Afghanistan and Somalia, according to new statistics from immigration agency UDI (Utlendingsdirektoratet).

While much of the news around asylum cases is negative, there have been some success stories. Newspaper Aftenposten reported last week that a new introduction program aimed at helping ease refugees into Norwegian society is seeing some good results.

Among them is Muna Hussein, who escaped war-torn Somalia just four years ago as a single mother of a little boy and with little formal schooling. She was welcomed into the program, quickly learned Norwegian, gained the equivalent of a Norwegian high school diploma and is now studying to be a nurse. Her son is enrolled in kindergarten and Hussein also works part-time at a nursing home in Bærum, west of Oslo.

“Norway and Bærum have given me a wonderful reception,” she told Aftenposten. “I thank God every morning and night.”

Views and News staff