Unlike Greece or Italy, Cyprus has not experienced large inflows of refugees by sea. According to the UNHCR, 5,126 refugees resided in Cyprus in 2014. In 2014, 1,480 first-time asylum applications were made, an increase from 1,150 in 2013 (Eurostat data). In 2014, the top three citizenships of asylum applicants were Syrian (995), Ukrainian (95) and Egyptian (85).
The government’s approach
Cyprus made significant efforts to accept those seeking asylum.
The country made a preference for Christian refugees.
The Cypriote government donated funds to the Council of Europe Development Bank for the refugee crisis.
In October 2015, two boats carrying 114 Syrian refugees arrived at a British airbase in Cyprus, leading to a dispute between the UK and Cyprus over which country is responsible for the resettlement.
Refugees in host communities
Several organisations assist refugees, providing legal counselling, accommodation, food, medical care, etc.
In spring 2015, just 4 per cent of respondents in Cyprus declared that immigration is one of the main issues facing the country. This was a decrease of 4 percentage points since autumn 2014.