Preventing Covid-19 while continuing humanitarian deliveries “a key priority”, UNFICYP Spokesman tells CNA

Preventing the spread of Covid-19 while continuing humanitarian deliveries is a key priority for the UN peacekeeping force, UNFICYP Spokesman, AleemSiddique, told CNA.

He was asked to comment on the disruption of food deliveries to enclaved Greek Cypriots living in villages, in the Turkish-occupied Karpas peninsula, in the northeastern tip of Cyprus, due to measures imposed by the Turkish Cypriot side aiming to prevent the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

“We take the concerns of the affected individuals living in the north extremely seriously. Preventing the potential spread of Covid-19 while we continue humanitarian deliveries is a key priority for UNFICYP” Siddique said.

“We have stepped up efforts to prevent the spread of the virus by minimizing the number of personnel required to deliver humanitarian supplies and having robust hygiene, sanitation and social distancing measures in place for all our peacekeepers” he added.

The mission continues to follow the guidance of WHO, UN headquarters and the local authorities as the situation evolves, the UNFICYP Spokesman concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey occupied 36.2% of the sovereign territory of the Republic and forcibly expelled about 180,000 Greek Cypriots from their homes. Another 20,000 Greek Cypriots, who had remained in the occupied areas, were also forced to eventually abandon their homes and seek refuge in the safety of the government-controlled areas. Today, few enclaved Greek Cypriots and Maronites remain in the occupied areas.

Source: Cyprus News Agency

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