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UNHCR Expresses Appreciation over Cypriot Govt's Efforts to Assist Refugees


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) appeared pleased with the Cypriot government’s enormous efforts in providing assistance to over 330 Syrian and Palestinian refugees who have abandoned their war-torn homelands. As UNHCR underlined, Cyprus has done its best to provide counseling and material assistance while being hosted at the Kokkinotrimithia refugee camp after their rescue off Cyprus’ coast on September 2014.

According to a UNHCR press release, the temporary camp of Kokkinotrimithia has finally ceased operations and the last 85 hosted people have already departed. To date, 71 Syrian and Palestinian nationals have submitted their asylum applications to Cypriot authorities and have already been relocated to the Kofinou reception center for asylum seekers. In addition, another 165 people have obtained renewable six-month humanitarian residence permits that would allow them to legally work while in Cyprus. UNHCR encourages Syrians and Palestinians who have not yet submitted an asylum application to the island’s authorities to do so without any further delays. As noted in the press release, this is the best way to guarantee their international protection needs. Regarding any concerns they might have on the matter, UNHCR says they could be properly addressed once they apply for asylum.

Furthermore, the UNHCR representative in Cyprus, Damtew Dessalegne, declared that the number of asylum seekers’ applications in Cyprus is manageable and there are no major problems overall, although there are a few gaps and weaknesses.

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