x

Society

Nine Activist Groups Blast Cyprus Over Migrant Camp Conditions

May 29, 2018

NICOSIA – After fending off criticism that migrants were being pushed into poverty, Cyprus’ government has been assailed anew that they risk becoming homeless because of an inadequate reception center on the island.

That assessment came from nine humanitarian organizations who signed a joint statement, the Italian wire service Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA)reported.

The organizations – Agapi, Caritas, Cyprus Red Cross Society, Cyprus Refugee Council, Hope for Children, KISA, MiHub, Municipality of Nicosia, and the UNHCR – said migrants on Cyprus face an increased risk of homelessness.

“The number of people seeking asylum in Cyprus has continued to show marked increases over the years, mostly due to the ongoing conflict in Syria: 1,887 in 2014; 2,108 in 2015; 2,871 in 2016 and 4,499 in 2017,” the statement said. “We believe, however, that the national reception system has proven to be inadequate to meet the needs of the increasing numbers of asylum-seekers and is in urgent need of a comprehensive reform,” it said.

Following a recent policy change by the Cypriot Asylum Service, the Kofinou Reception Centre is no longer accepting single male asylum-seekers, it said.

“With the Kofinou Center presently hosting only 265 persons and another 130 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children housed in special shelters, the vast majority of asylum-seekers therefore live outside collective centers,” it said.

The statement further said that the lack of housing and financial assistance “leaves beneficiaries below the poverty line”, which “exacerbates the risk of destitution for asylum seekers”.

The groups said the government, which has essentially ignored complaints, should “take immediate  action to remedy the situation,” including to provide emergency accommodations to all asylum seekers, increasing their benefits and provide measures to aid unaccompanied children.

Earlier, after criticism from activists who said refugees on Cyprus are living in substandard conditions and being pushed into poverty, Defense Minister Savvas Angelides said those who come will find a safe haven and be helped.

RELATED

NICOSIA — Cyprus has assisted in rescue of a small wooden boat crammed with more than 300 migrants that was floating adrift 203 kilometers (126 miles) west of the island nation, a Cypriot official said Tuesday.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

“We Got Our Miracle”: Freed Americans Back Home in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Two US military veterans who disappeared three months ago while fighting with Ukrainian forces against Russia arrived home to Alabama on Saturday, greeted by hugs, cheers and tears of joy at the state's main airport.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.