Europe

Berlin repurposes shipping containers to expand housing for refugees

Elaine Yu, for CNN

Updated 1:45 AM ET, Fri July 10, 2015
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A worker walks through a container facility under construction in the Zehlendorf district that will house refugees and asylum applicants on July 9, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. This will be Berlin's sixth container accommodation as the city expands its capacity to house arriving refugees. Germany received the highest number of asylum seekers last year, with over 173,000 applications, according to a report by the United Nations. Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Workers construct a container facility in Berlin's Zehlendorf district that will house refugees and asylum applicants on July 9. The wars in Syria and Iraq, as well as crises and economic desperation in Africa and the Balkans, have contributed to the rising tide of refugees entering Germany. Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Shaheen Al-Obaidi, a 21-year-old refugee from Mosul, Iraq, poses for a picture in Berlin on June 26, 2015. JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images
Germany has pledged to resettle more displaced Syrians -- around 35,000 -- than any other country, according to the United Nations. Europe received 714,300 asylum claims in 2014, a 47% increase from the previous year. Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Some local communities are feeling the pressure of needing to accommodate refugees and migrants who are continuing to arrive in Germany in large numbers. Old buildings and shipping containers have been used to provide mass housing for the displaced in Germany. Right-wing activists protested the construction of a refugee village in Berlin's eastern Marzahn district in 2014. Controversy also erupted earlier this year, in January, when the western German town of Schwerte proposed housing 21 asylum seekers in barracks situated on the grounds of a Nazi-era concentration camp. Sean Gallup/Getty Images
An imam leads a memorial service while standing next to a coffin, which, according to an artist group spokesman, contains the body of a female Syrian refugee who drowned in the Mediterranean in her attempt to reach Europe, in a reburial at Gatow cemetery on June 16, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. A German artist group called 'Political Beauty' ('Politische Schoenheit'), which had led the exhumation of the woman's body from Italy, organized the event as a form of protest against European Union refugee policy. Sean Gallup/Getty Images
A Syrian refugee mother comforts her children, after being rescued from a fishing boat carrying 219 people who had hoped to reach Europe. They are among the millions uprooted by war. UNHCR / A. D'Amato
Two Syrian refugees wait for their monthly distribution of food and goods in a photo taken by CNN reporter Michael Robison. The woman pictured above is widowed with two children. She told CNN that her husband was killed in Syria for refusing to join an extremist group. "She is raising her kids and surviving on the support of one particular relief group," Robison said. "She is very kind and very grateful for the aid she gets monthly." Michael Robison/CNN iReport