Brussels to help Cyprus absorb Ukraine refugees

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Through its Technical Support Instrument (TSI), the European Commission will provide expertise to help Cyprus welcome the thousands fleeing Ukraine due to the Russian invasion.

The other EU states getting similar support are Belgium, Czechia, France, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia

Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and reforms, said the EU has a duty to help those who flee the war and look for safety in the bloc.

“This means giving them access to housing, education, healthcare and jobs.

“With the Technical Support Instrument, the European Commission supports Member States to make this happen smoothly and quickly.”

The technical expertise provided under the TSI helps countries absorb EU funds for reception and integration purposes and assist them in implementing the Temporary Protection Directive.

Cyprus will be assisted in the process of recognition of Ukrainian refugees’ qualifications and diplomas to facilitate their entry into the labour market.

Additionally, the assistance includes technical support in adapting school curricula to the needs of Ukrainian pupils and improving inter-ministerial coordination.

Over 16,500 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Cyprus since Russia’s invasion on February 24, and around 10,000 have already sought temporary protected status, the Interior Ministry said earlier this month.

Most of those who arrived have done so under the government’s streamlined procedures to facilitate their entry to Cyprus.

Under EU rules, their status allows for protection for up to one year.

Most refugees stay with relatives as Cyprus’ expat Ukraine community is around 5,000-strong.

The government has secured 3,000 beds at Famagusta hotels for temporary accommodation.