Cyprus’ Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said on Tuesday that the government will announce within the next 24 hours measures to help the people affected by the devastating wildfires of last Saturday. He added that the Government’s goal was to reduce bureaucracy and the time needed, in order to provide immediate assistance.
In statements after the end of a regional meeting with the Minister of Agriculture Costas Kadis and representatives of the affected by the fire areas, Nouris said that all the services and all the Ministries of the government involved have the same goals, on the one hand, to support the people and on the other hand to rejuvenate and restore life in the affected areas.
He also said that together with the Minister of Agriculture they will reach out with a joint program to the European Solidarity Fund, in an effort to draw funds from the European Union.
On his part, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Costas Kadis pointed out that “our bet, is to see black becoming green again, to see people who have lost their belongings, their crops to stand up and be reactivated in the agricultural sector”.
Especially the area we visited, he noted, has young people and farmers, who work in their land with great passion and have managed to produce products whose reputation has surpassed Cyprus.
The Minster said that the Government will support professional farmers on three levels.
The first, according to the Ministry’s suggestion would be to give a one-time sponsorship immediately, without much bureaucracy and without delay to the farmers, in order to get some relief and to stand on their own feet.
The second, Kadis said, is a plan that concerns compensation for the damage caused by the fire. He added that an announcement will be issued tomorrow by the Department of Agriculture, calling on farmers to record their losses, make an assessment and then proceed with the compensation procedures.
The third direction, according to the Minister is the correction of the infrastructure that has been damaged, especially the water supply for the agricultural sector.