First Social Welfare Minister appointed

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Cyprus’ First Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Anastasia Anthousi, was sworn in on Friday, pledging to work hard for every citizen to live in dignity in a strong state of real social well-being.

Speaking during the ceremony at the Presidential Palace, President Nicos Anastasiades, the new Deputy Ministry, is another important milestone in the government’s ambitious effort to reform social services.

He said the responsibilities of the new Deputy Minister is to implement the Social Welfare Services Restructuring Plan, which has been drafted.

A 150 extra staff were hired at all levels to fill gaps in social services.

The new minister is responsible for the proper functioning of the Children’s Home to prevent child sexual exploitation and abuse and the “Home for the Women” from domestic violence.

Anastasiades said 45 policy actions had been implemented to substantially improve and modernise the services provided to Cypriots in effectively dealing with problems that arise.

The Deputy Minister said she bears the enormous responsibility of implementing policies that are part of the government’s broader strategy to create a strong welfare state.

She said that the reorganisation of the Department of Social Welfare Services and its transformation into a Ministry of Social Welfare falls within the multidimensional effort to strengthen existing policies for the well-being of citizens and ensure social cohesion.

Anthousi said the national healthcare system, the Guaranteed Minimum Income, the new housing policy, reforms in Education, revision of family law, but the series of reform bills pending in parliament were all examples of an improved welfare state.

“I will work with the social partners to carry on the reforms and to achieve synergies and collaborations with all stakeholders, state departments, services and NGOs.”