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14 July, 2024
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Department faces 2,000 backlogged refugee applications due to understaffing

YMAPE's struggle as department addresses understaffing and grant delays in the Parliamentary Committee session


In February 2024, the Service for the Care and Rehabilitation of Displaced Persons (YMAPE) revealed a backlog of 2,000 pending applications, citing understaffing issues. The Parliamentary Committee on Refugees discussed challenges, including delayed grant payments and the need for a review of assistance criteria. Chairman Nikos Ketteros acknowledged the problem and recommended writing to the Ministers of Finance and Interior, emphasizing the impact of delayed applications, which often benefit developers and land entrepreneurs due to rising prices.

During the session, concerns were raised about the potential exclusion of those with property exceeding €1 million and the need for a building permit. Electronic submission for rent allowances was mentioned to expedite processing. MPs emphasized the necessity of revising criteria, simplifying procedures, and addressing housing loan challenges.

Deputy Director Maria Adamidou highlighted Limassol's processing challenges due to understaffing, proposing additional personnel and criteria changes. She mentioned the requirement for a building permit and highlighted instances where banks granted loans to applicants with zero income. The session discussed electronic systems for rent subsidies, and the representative from the Ministry of Finance's Department of Public Administration outlined efforts to strengthen YMAPE, emphasizing the temporary nature of emergency solutions.

Overall, the session underscored the need for a comprehensive review to address YMAPE's backlog and evolving refugee assistance needs, taking into account the challenges posed by delayed applications, understaffing, and the changing housing market.

[Information sourced from CNA]

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