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€1m for reception facilities for refugees

October 18, 2019 at 11:04am
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The Interior Ministry is budgeting €1m next year to cover the costs of running the Kophinou Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers and the temporary shelter Pournara in Kokkinotrimithia, Phileleftheros reported on Friday.

It said the ministry’s budget for 2020 provides for €819,750 for Kophinou of which €38,000 for personnel costs, €234,750 to buy services, €173,000 for running costs and €374,000 for other expenses.

The centre has been in operation since 2004 and has a capacity for 400 people catering primarily for asylum seekers but also for those who have secured international protection but await approval for minimum guaranteed income or are still looking for rented accommodation.

The Interior Ministry is meanwhile setting in motion procedures to set up and operate a second centre within 2020, probably in Paphos. Construction will be paid for with EU funds and it will be run with the purchase of services from the private sector so as to be more flexible and be able to deal with increased needs when they arise, the newspaper added.

The ministry is also budgeting €180,250 for the Kokkinotrimithia temporary shelter which is where larger groups of refugees are first taken on arrival in Cyprus.

They are accommodated there for the first three days pending medical tests and registration after which those who have family in Cyprus can join them or alternatively they are referred to Kophinou. If the latter is full, then they qualify for rent allowance, the newspaper added.

Meanwhile, the Labour Ministry is reported to be having second thoughts about turning an abandoned army camp in Zygi into a centre for unaccompanied minors eligible for international protection.

Zygi community leader had protested angrily at the plan saying that the community wanted the land to create a a camping area.

The ministry had initially set aside €780,000 for the construction of the centre, with a capacity for 100 unaccompanied minors in view of increased arrivals, but there has been no movement on the plan. The

There are currently four such centres in Cyprus — in Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca.

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