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22 May, 2024
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Cyprus braces for migrant influx by expanding Pournara center

Minister's directive to boost capacity and streamline services in response to Middle East unrest


The Minister of Interior, Mr. Constantinos Ioannou, has issued instructions to gradually expand the capacity of the First Reception Centre, Pournara, to accommodate a larger number of people. This move aims to enhance staffing at the center and expedite the processing of applications in response to the recent surge in arrivals from the Middle East due to the unstable situation in the region.

During a comprehensive inter-agency meeting involving various competent services and departments within the Ministry, Mr. Ioannou received a detailed briefing on the state of readiness for managing increased migrant flows.

Key decisions taken during the meeting include plans to incrementally boost the Pournara Centre's capacity by accommodating an additional 1,000 individuals. Additionally, in collaboration with the Ministries of Justice and Health, the State Ministry of Social Welfare, and the Police, staffing levels at the center's key services, such as Medical Services, Social Welfare Services, Immigration, and Aliens Service, will be reinforced. This initiative is expected to streamline applicant processing and enhance the center's overall efficiency.

To address potential overcapacity issues during mass influxes, options for an additional closed structure that could serve as temporary migrant accommodation were explored.

Simultaneously, to ensure the effective operation of the "Pournara" Centre, a request for the provision of extra equipment will be made. Furthermore, an urgent appeal will be submitted to the European Union for the deployment of first-line reception officers. These officers will play a vital role in assisting Cyprus with its strategy for managing mass arrivals.

Cyprus is actively taking measures to manage and accommodate the increasing number of migrants arriving in the country, seeking safety and a better future amidst the volatile situation in the Middle East.

Cyprus  |  Greece  |  migration  |  migrants

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