21. Mai 2013 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Zypern, syrisch-kurdische Flüchtlinge – Kritik des UNHCR · Kategorien: Syrien · Tags:

UNHCR concerned over Kurdish families

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said it was greatly concerned over deteriorating conditions of asylum seekers in Cyprus, offered to support the government and called for accelerating actions on contingency planning. In a statement, the UNHCR mentioned the instance of more than 100 Kurdish men, women and children of Syrian origin who have „remained for over two weeks without shelter in the streets of Nicosia at the doorsteps of the ministry of interior,“ said Nasr Ishak, UNHCR Representative for Cyprus.

„We have examined those cases and conveyed to the competent Cypriot authorities our recommendations for corrective actions in accordance with the Cyprus refugee law.“ The UNHCR said it had no doubt that the economic crisis and the drastic measures that have followed were bound to have widespread impact on society and affect a segment of the Cypriot population. „However, our concern is that asylum seekers and refugees being among the most vulnerable people in Cyprus have been enormously affected to the extent of destitution,“ said the UNHCR statement. „The need to preserve the human dignity of those innocent people is an international obligation and UNHCR in Cyprus has responded immediately from its own resources to requests for support from the Cypriot authorities.“ It said at the same time, Cyprus, as an EU member state experiencing serious financial difficulties was now entitled to receive 95 per cent of the cost of providing appropriate reception facilities for asylum seekers from EU Refugee Funds. „But our efforts to support the Republic of Cyprus do not stop merely at providing humanitarian assistance to people of concern to UNHCR,“ said Ishak. „We know that we must fully take into account the multiple challenges facing Cyprus and proceed in a constructive and solutions-oriented manner; in close consultation with government counterparts at various levels.“ A delegation from UNHCR’s Europe Bureau in Brussels and its Headquarters in Geneva visited Nicosia last month to review the potential impact on Cyprus of the Syrian crisis. The delegation met at the ministry of foreign affairs with the permanent secretary, Andreas Mavroyiannis and officials from the ministry of interior, the asylum service, the crisis management department, Schengen and consular division, and the civil protection department. With the number of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries already exceeding 1.4 million and rapidly rising, the UNHCR urged the government to accelerate its contingency planning efforts in order to ensure preparedness for possible increased arrivals of people fleeing Syria. „The UNHCR considers that those civilians fleeing from Syria require international protection and has called upon all states to ensure that their borders remain open to receive them and ensure that their human rights are respected,“ the UNHCR said. It said Mavroyiannis assured them that the government remained committed to upholding its obligations but it also counted on measures of solidarity with small and overtaxed countries like Cyprus.

Published on May 19, 2013


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