Three locations near the Green Line have been pre-selected for the construction of the new (second) reception and accommodation centre for refugees arriving in Cyprus in search for a better tomorrow.
Cyprus has been facing increased migration flows in the past last three years, necessitating a new reception and accommodation centre, since the one in Kokkinotrimithia cannot accommodate any others. Additionally, cheap accommodation available for refugees and asylum seekers is hard to find nowadays, making the creation of new Centre a matter of urgency.
As the Interior Minister Constantinos Petridis told Phileleftheros newspaper, the second reception and accommodation centre will be able to host 500 – 1,000 people and will operate in the wider area of Nicosia in a location which will soon be selected.
At the same time, a centre for vulnerable people coming from third countries is planned. And this will be erected in Nicosia at a location indicated by the contractor: the University of Nicosia. The choice will be made by the end of the month as the procedures are at an advanced stage and will accommodate 40-50 people.
The interior ministry is also currently developing an innovative emergency housing programme which is funded by the European Commission. The project will soon be announced and will begin to house asylum seekers as of 2020. The funds available to find accommodation as needed, will amount to around one million euros. According to Petrides, this projects will be handled by the International Organisation for Migration, which is experienced in these issues and has implemented similar program elsewhere.
In this way, refugees will be dispersed, thus avoiding ghettoizing areas where foreigners would otherwise be brought together in large numbers, although as expected, with the numbers Cyprus is facing today, and especially with the number of refugees and economic migrants expected in the coming years, ghettoization will be difficult to avoid. This programme will initially be implemented in the Nicosia area and if successful, it will be expanded to other districts.
Just last Tuesday, the Ministry of Interior said in a conference that at the current pace and within five years time, the number of refugees and immigrants in Cyprus will have reached 100,000, figures which are unimaginable for a country like ours. Petrides estimated that this year, asylum seekers will reach 15,000, which means they will be close to 1.8% of the population.