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Belgium welcomed record number of refugees in 2016
In 2016, 12,197 asylum seekers were granted refugee status in Belgium – a record number and almost double that of the previous year, new figures out this week show.
A further 3,281 asylum seekers, who did not qualify for refugee status, were granted protection, according to an annual report by the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons.
Well over a third of protection-granted asylum seekers were Syrian, 5,436 of whom were given refugee status. Some 2,742 Iraqis and 769 Somalians were recognised as refugees last year, and 830 Afghans qualified for protection.
Although record figures for Belgium, countries such as Turkey have taken in several million refugees since the beginning of the crisis.
Lebanon has accepted over a million Syrian refugees despite only having a population of 4.5 million. Germany has welcomed several hundred thousand refugees since 2015.