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17 June, 2024
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Cyprus races to accommodate migrants at Pournara

EU aid sought as asylum seekers flock to shores


In response to the escalating conflict in the Middle East, the Republic of Cyprus has submitted a formal request for assistance to the European Union.

The request seeks both equipment and personnel to effectively manage the increasing influx of migrants, particularly asylum seekers, who are arriving on the shores of Cyprus.

Margarita Kyriakou, the spokeswoman for the Ministry of Interior, conveyed this urgent appeal to the public during an interview with SPOR FM and the show DIASPORA NEWS. She emphasized the critical need for medical professionals, including doctors and nurses, as well as interpreters and support staff.

The situation has necessitated immediate action. Ms. Kyriakou revealed that following a recent meeting at the Interior Ministry, preparations have been made to accommodate an additional 1000 people at the "Pournara" Temporary Accommodation Centre in Kokkinotrimithia. Currently, the center already houses 1500 individuals.

In anticipation of the possibility that the number of people seeking refuge at the Pournara Centre might exceed 2500, contingency plans are being implemented. A second facility is being sought, designed to serve as a closed structure similar to Pournara.

This secondary center will be activated if the primary space becomes overwhelmed.

Ms. Kyriakou also highlighted the complex nature of the situation, explaining that due to the volatility in the Middle East, coordinating with countries like Lebanon to mitigate migration flows has proven impossible. As a result, predicting the scale of potential migration remains a challenge.

Additionally, the Cyprus government is working in collaboration with embassies and the consulate to facilitate the repatriation of foreign nationals through the "Estia" plan.

The Ministry of Interior, in coordination with foreign embassies, is arranging transportation for these citizens, either to locations near Larnaca and Paphos airports or to specific hotels, which are either arranged and secured by their home countries or have cooperative agreements with the Ministry of Interior.

The Republic of Cyprus is confronting the complexities of managing a growing wave of migrants and asylum seekers while seeking to balance humanitarian efforts with the limitations imposed by the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

This situation underscores the urgent need for coordinated support from the European Union and highlights the challenges that Cyprus faces in managing the humanitarian crisis on its shores.

Cyprus  |  migrants  |  refugees  |  crisis  |  Israel  |  war

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