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Ένθετο εφημερίδας «ΠΟΛΙΤΗΣ» -Ο ρόλος της διεθνούς κοινότητας και ΎΑ στην Κύπρο το 1974

04 August 2017

©
A collage of photos: a UNHCR photo taken at Strovolos camp in 1974 and a recent photo of POLITIS from the Emergency refugee camp at Kokkinotrimithia, at the outskirts of Nicosia

Στο πλαίσιο επετειακού αφιερώματος για τις τραγικές μέρες του 1974 στην Κύπρο, η εφημερίδα «ΠΟΛΙΤΗΣ» περιέλαβε ένα συνεκτικό ρεπορτάζ για τη συμβολή της διεθνούς κοινότητας και του ρόλου της Ύπατης Αρμοστείας του ΟΗΕ για τους Πρόσφυγες αναφορικά με την ανθρωπιστική βοήθεια που δόθηκε τότε στους εκτοπισμένους Κύπριους.

Αντιπαραβάλλοντας φωτογραφίες εκτοπισμένων Κυπρίων το 1974 με φωτογραφίες Σύρων προσφύγων στον προσωρινό καταυλισμό στην Κοκκινοτριμιθιά, η δημοσιογράφος θυμίζει ότι οι ανάγκες και οι επιθυμίες των ανθρώπων που αναγκάζονται να εγκαταλείψουν τα σπίτια τους λόγω του πολέμου και των διώξεων παραμένουν διαχρονικά οι ίδιες.

Το ρεπορτάζ της Κάτιας Σάββα, αποτελούμενο από τρία άρθρα, ανατρέχει σε ντοκουμέντα και φωτογραφίες από το αρχείο της Ύπατης Αρμοστείας στη Γενεύη αναφορικά με την ανταπόκριση της διεθνούς κοινότητας  στις ανάγκες των εκτοπισμένων Κύπριων το 1974, καθώς και του ρόλου της Ύπατης Αρμοστείας στην παροχή της ανθρωπιστικής βοήθειας προς τους εκτοπισμένους Κύπριους. Στο τρίτο της άρθρο η δημοσιογράφος περιλαμβάνει αποσπάσματα αφηγήσεων του λειτουργού της Ύπατης Αρμοστείας Nicholas Morris, ο οποίος είχε κληθεί στην Κύπρο τον Αύγουστο του 1974 για να βοηθήσει στο συντονισμό της ανθρωπιστικής βοήθειας που θα κατέφθανε στην Κύπρο.

Μπορείτε να διαβάσετε τα άρθρα στους πιο κάτω συνδέσμους

http://politis.com.cy/article/amesi-antapokrisi-diethnous-kinotitas-stin-ekklisi-unhcr-stis-6974#.WX8At1N3sEE.facebook

http://politis.com.cy/article/pagkosmia-agkalia-gia-tous-prosfiges

http://politis.com.cy/article/diexodos-o-erithros-stavros--o-apestalmenos-tis-unhcr-afigite

Παραθέτουμε πιο κάτω περίληψη των τριών άρθρων στ’Αγγλικά:

The first article in the series, published on Sunday 30 July, tells of how the international community was not indifferent to the devastation in Cyprus, and of the displacement of a third of the island’s population. Through its research, the newspaper finds that the international response to help Cyprus then, is proportionate to the international response given now to assist refugees from Syria. The greatest difference, however, was the media landscape of the time. Yet, despite the absence of the internet, of social media, and even limited mass media channels, and the lack of organised civil society groups to help, the help did arrive. Coordinated actions by UNHCR and the Red Cross meant the aid was arriving and reaching the internally displaced who were in dire need.

In its first article, the journalist documents UNHCR’s early days on the island. On 20 August 1974, the UNSG Kurt Waldheim announced the appointment of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadruddin Aga Khan, as co-ordinator of the humanitarian assistance for Cyprus. Within a couple of days following the appointment, the High Commissioner and two UNHCR staff members arrived on the island to make a first-hand assessment of the most urgent relief requirements. Six days later, the High Commissioner returned to Geneva to launch an appeal to the governments for donations for the 226,000 Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot displaced people on the island. Upon his departure, he said to the media: "It's very difficult here. I think, from what I have seen during my visit, that the emphasis on humanitarian aid is extremely important ...” According to UNHCR archives, the amount appealed for was USD22 million, which would amount to 80 cents per person per day through to the end of 1974. The amount was exceed by the middle of December.

 

More than forty years on, tents are still the first shelter, and people’s needs are still the same: food, shelter, safety, a better life for themselves and their children. Selecting pictures from the archives showing the displaced in Cyprus then, Politis has put them side-by-side with recent images captured at the Emergency Reception Center at Kokkinotrimithia. Here Syrians and others fleeing their homeland for a chance of survival, for themselves and for their children, arrive and make do in tents and makeshift facilities. 

http://politis.com.cy/article/amesi-antapokrisi-diethnous-kinotitas-stin-ekklisi-unhcr-stis-6974#.WX8At1N3sEE.facebook

In the second of the three articles published on Monday 31 July, Politis reports the details of the amount of aid sent to Cyprus through UNHCR, and of the breakdown of the amounts sent by each country. 29 August 1974 marked the date when UNHCR, as a coordinator for aid to Cyprus, proceeded with its first action of discharging the international aid, in kind and money; governments, as well as UNICEF and UNHCR itself, had initially pledged some USD4 million. An initial appeal was made by the High Commissioner in September for 22 million US $ (which today would amount to USD110 million) to cover emergency accommodation needs, food as well as for domestic and community equipment. By December 1974 the $22million target was exceeded with the total value of contributions reaching $23.4 m. At the beginning of 1975 a new appeal was made for 9.3 million to finance the UN humanitarian assistance programme, mainly for food, for the first four months of the year. In addition to the larger amounts of aid given by West Germany, the UK and France and the USA, other governments of countries who contributed to aid to Cyprus included, Cuba, Pakistan, Kenya, Lebanon, Egypt and Syria. Archives from the period show the tonnage of food and supplies that were sent to the island, such as flour, canned food, dried vegetables and baby food, rice, butter and milk powder. References are made to the authorities at the British bases also offering food to several thousand displaced people. Meanwhile several countries sent large numbers of tents, blankets, water tanks and vehicles. By the end of August 1974, Greece had sent three steamships with tonnes of food and aid supplies, bedding, medicines and other essentials.

http://politis.com.cy/article/pagkosmia-agkalia-gia-tous-prosfiges

In the third article of this series, published on Tuesday 1 August, Politis published excerpts from the journals of Nicholas Morris, a now retired UNHCR officer who had been sent on mission to Cyprus in 1974 to help coordinate the humanitarian aid effort on the island.

In view of the serious humanitarian needs, the deep mistrust and the unresolved conflict, UNHCR's mission to Cyprus in 1974 faced two major challenges, in setting up its humanitarian aid operation, according to Morris. The first was how to share the aid between north and south, as an objective assessment was impossible. According to Morris, the views of each community, and of the reasons for the situation were completely different. “We decided that the only option was to divide the aid based on the last census: 81% to Greek Cypriots and 19% to Turkish Cypriots,” writes Morris.

The second challenge was even more difficult: How would the humanitarian aid programme be implemented, since it was clear this could not be achieved through the conventional means of working with the government, as this would not have been accepted by the Turkish Cypriot community. Finally it was decided that the Red Cross would be authorised to act on behalf of UNHCR, given that the president of the organization was Greek Cypriot, and one of the vice presidents was Turkish Cypriot. Clerides and Denktash were informed, and in this way, UNHCR was able to carry out its mandate. Humanitarian operations reached across the island, and other governments sending aid could be sure that the help was reaching people in need from both communities.  

“It is very difficult to describe the hatred between Greeks and Turks; however there are some rays of hope in both sides,” writes Morris. “Even the simplest things are complicated, for example, a Greek Cypriot driver for the UN cannot cross to the north, and vice versa.” Morris describes his impressions of the greatest portion of immediate help to those escaping the war coming from relatives and friends. “It is easy to see the charm of this island for people, but now it is filled with sadness and misery.”

http://politis.com.cy/article/diexodos-o-erithros-stavros--o-apestalmenos-tis-unhcr-afigite

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