Cyprus Mail

First Lady clarifies funding of new body

The Independent Social Support Fund will be fuelled by private donations and will be run with transparency, reiterated First Lady Andri Anastasiades on Tuesday following a House row over the funding of the charity.

The First Lady announced the founding and commencement of operations of the charity designed to help people forced to discontinue their studies due to the economic crisis on Monday. At the same time a bill allowing the government to funnel money into the body from the government’s consolidated fund was tabled in Monday’s House finance committee session, sparking heated debate.

Deputies recalled a similar practice employed by the previous government, where former President Demetris Christofias had issued cheques to various people and organisations at his own discretion from a solidarity fund he created, for which was heavily criticised by the opposition.

Speaking on Tuesday, Anastasiades said the fund will receive private donations and that payments will be made directly to universities and home owners for tuition and rent respectively.

She added that the Fund already gathered almost €300,000 from donations and that there will be a constant flow of funds since the pensions of President Nicos Anastasiades and other state officials will be forwarded to the Fund.

“We will investigate through the social welfare services and their universities the students’ financial condition to make sure the money goes where it should,” she said.

She added the money will be allocated according to each student’s needs.

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