Cyprus President vows to make migrant camp conditions on the island ‘more humane’

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Cyprus needs to improve its policies and infrastructure in order to be ‘more humane’ when accommodating migrant refugees, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Monday.

The President’s statement comes after he paid a visit to Pournara camp on the western outskirts of Nicosia on Monday.

The Cypriot Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Despo Michaelidou, last week called conditions at the camp “miserable,” including poor food and a lack of sanitation facilities.

READ MORE: Israel, Cyprus, Greece secure $736 million in EU funding for power cable link.

President Nicos Anastasiades listens to a migrant behind the fence of the Pournara refugee reception centre in Kokkinotrimithia. Photo: Financial Mirror.

During his visit, President Anastasiades said that any “deficiencies” at the camp that arose as a result of an influx of migrants will be “dealt with accordingly.”

The Cypriot President stressed that difficulties were to be expected when nearly 5 percent of Cyprus’ population are asylum seekers. He said Cyprus has the highest number of asylum applications per capita among the European Union’s 27 nations.

READ MORE: Greece and Cyprus to share fire-fighting expertise in ‘milestone’ collaboration.

Anastasiades at the migrant camp.

“It would be better to focus on how to solve these problems, how to deal with the crisis created from the flow (of migrants), rather than dealing with everyone’s criticism,” he said.

So far, according to the Cypriot Interior Minister Nicos Nouris, 92 of the 356 children at Pournara have already been relocated to hotels, while accommodations for another 150 will be found soon.

Minister Nouris said the overcrowding at Pournara will be alleviated once the migrants are transferred to a newly-constructed reception center 50 kilometres south of the capital.

READ MORE: Greek Prime Minister: Turkey must not threaten Greece or Cyprus

Source: Financial Mirror.

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