Statement by AKEL C.C. Spokesperson Giorgos Koukoumas

No “excellent work” has been done in Pournara in recent years

We hope that humane reception policies will belatedly be implemented

14 March 2022, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia

President Anastasiades was right to visit the reception centre in Pournara today. Pournara, of course, is not an issue that should serve any communication considerations. It is a question of the state’s duty to fulfill its obligations stemming from international conventions/Treaties, a question of humanity and solidarity. And it is indeed a matter of urgency, given that hundreds of people will continue to live – as they have been living for weeks and months now – under tents, in the freezing cold and rain.

All through the last few years no “excellent work” has been carried out in the Pournara migrant reception centre. The exact opposite is the case. From a reception centre it was allowed to become a hotbed of humanitarian crisis, with living conditions that no child and no human being deserves. It has been allowed to become a huge storehouse of human misery, with unaccompanied children living in containers. With sewage flooding the place. Even with the supply of inadequate food. And all this while the Cypriot state was receiving, and continues to receive, tens of millions of euros from the EU that should ensure humane reception conditions.

We hope that at least belatedly – after so many years that AKEL, as well as other bodies and independent institutions, have been pushing for solutions – that effective and humane reception, accommodation and assimilation policies for refugees will be implemented.

AKEL will continue to closely monitor the course of government policy and whether today’s announcements will at long last be implemented in practice.

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