The interior ministry has stressed the need to create a second reception centre to cater to the increasing influx of those seeking international protection, an EU commissioner said on Tuesday.
Responding to a letter from Edek MEP Demetris Papadakis who described the current living conditions at Kofinou reception centre as vile, the EU Commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said Cypriot authorities were in contact with the EU commission for assistance in improving the quality of the island’s asylum seeker system.
In his response, Avramopoulos added that the decision to outsource maintenance and up keeping services of Kofinou was expected to improve living conditions.
“However, Cyprus’ ministry of interior has stressed the need to create a second reception centre in the country, in a bid to deal with the increasing number of applicants seeking international protection.”
The problems plaguing Kofinou have long been discussed even in parliament however authorities appear to be struggling to cope with the migrant crisis that has brought more people to the island’s shores seeking help and protection.
According to Papadakis, there was a huge number of unaccompanied minors living in Kofinou to which Avramopoulos responded that as part of the national programme between 2014 and 2020, the EU made €38.4m available, of which €10m went for the reception and activities related to asylum.
Avramopoulos also added that Cyprus had signed a special programme with the EU outlining measures to improve living conditions in Kofinou, training staff and operational assistance to Cyprus for reception centres – including Kofinou.