The office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Cyprus on Wednesday called on asylum seekers to ignore messages on registration procedures and financial aid by other organisations on the island other than the government.
UNHCR said that a number of asylum seekers and refugees have reported that they have received a text message that UNHCR was registering asylum seekers in Cyprus.
The message said that the reason was to provide special financial and material assistance due to the covid-19 crisis and that the Cypriot interior ministry in partnership with the European Asylum Office (EASO) have put in place a special monthly package of €350 per individual, €500 for families of two, €750 for families of three and more to help those under international protection. Persons who received this message were asked to contact EASO in Cyprus for more information and register before April 6.
“The content of this message is untrue and was not sent by UNHCR,” the organisation said in an announcement.
It added that the governmental authorities continue to be responsible for the social support of asylum-seekers and refugees and that these groups should continue to seek assistance from the social welfare services for their material reception conditions.
“Refugees and subsidiary protection beneficiaries should continue to seek assistance from the welfare benefit management service for their Guaranteed Minimum Income,” UNHCR said.
It also said that it only shares information through its official website, help platform, and its official Facebook and Twitter pages.