Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community: Commission adopts second Action Programme for 2020

The Commission is adopting today a second Annual Action Programme for aid to the Turkish Cypriot community. This second Action Programme is worth a total amount of €31.6 million to support new projects that facilitate the reunification of Cyprus. It comes in addition to the €5 million that was approved earlier this year.

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “Projects under the Aid Programme aim to improve infrastructure, support economic development, foster reconciliation, and bring Turkish Cypriots closer to the EU. I am confident that they will contribute to efforts for a reunification of Cyprus, which is one of the main goals of our assistance.

The priorities of the programme include support for the preparation and financing of key infrastructure projects and for environmental protection. Further measures are planned for the improvement of the electricity grid used by the Turkish Cypriot community and for an economic stimulus package with short and longer-term support, focusing on a sustainable and resilient greener economy in response to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Support will also be provided for improving food safety, the provision of statistical data, special needs education and lifelong learning.

With a view to building confidence between the Turkish and Greek communities in Cyprus, the programme will continue to provide substantial financing for the Committee on Missing Persons and the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage. In addition, continuous support for civil society will help to enhance island-wide cooperation between NGOs and inspire further bi-communal activities, thereby contributing to the process of reunification. Finally, a bi-communal scholarship programme will provide for increased interactions and shared learning experiences between the youth from both communities.

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