The European Union funds 80 per cent of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus budget while the biggest single donor is the Cyprus government, Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs Anna Aristotelous said on Tuesday.

The newly appointed officer was speaking after the signing of the economic agreement between the Republic of Cyprus and the UNDP.

During the ceremony a contribution amounting to €175,000 was handed over from the Republic to the head of UNPD Jakhongir Khaydarov for its 2023 contribution to the CMP.

The total budget of CMP reaches €3.2 million. The remaining €600,000 is covered by other donations.

According to an official announcement, the Republic has contributed over €3.7 million since the launch of the exhumation programme.

The government is also supporting the committee by funding other measures relating to exploration and excavation.

“With the utmost respect to the suffering families of the missing persons, the Republic of Cyprus will remain a steadfast supporter in assisting the work of the CMP,” Aristotelous said.

She said this concerns identification of all missing persons, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots and Greeks.

“Time is our greatest enemy when it comes to the issue of our missing persons,” she added.

She stressed that the government’s aim is to further strengthen and support the work of the CMP and in particular to accelerate all relevant processes to determine the fate of the missing persons as a top priority. This, she stressed, will also mean the end of the uncertainty borne by their relatives for 49 years.

The Agreement was signed on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus by the Director of the Office of the President of the Republic Charalambos Charalambous and on behalf of UNDP Cyprus by Khaydarov. Greek Cypriot representative on the CMP Leonidas Pantelides was also present.

According to data published on the CMP website by August 1, 2022 out of 2,002 missing persons 1,185 have been exhumed and 1,027 identified. Out of 1,510 Greek Cypriot missing persons 735 were identified and 775 are still missing. Out of 492 Turkish Cypriot missing persons 292 were identified and 200 are still missing.