Cyprus Mail

Teleconference between refugees and Unhcr highlights serious issues in Cyprus

Photo: Christos Theodorides

A joint teleconference organised on Tuesday on the occasion of the completion of the ‘’AWARE’’ campaign was held between representatives of refugees and asylum seekers with the participation of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (Unhcr) Representative in Cyprus Katja Saha to highlight the difficulties migrants face in integrating into Cypriot society.

Other topics emerged during the discussion were the problems they had to overcome during the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to meet their basic survival needs, like housing.

Among the most urgent issues presented by the refugees was the growing trend of xenophobia in Cyprus, which was further aggravated by the pandemic, as it posed a practical obstacle to the integration process and to the possibility of finding a job.

Saha often chimed in during the teleconference and highlighted the worrying situation at the Pournara reception camp in Kokkinotrimithia “where people are experiencing overpopulation and isolation,” but admitted that the pandemic has had the same effect on refugee camps all over Europe

She finally called on Cyprus to make the most of the EU funding and good practices provided by Unhcr.

The AWARE campaign is co-funded by the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and by the Cyprus government.

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