U.S. Assistance to Cyprus

ID-82-2: Published: Nov 30, 1981. Publicly Released: Dec 10, 1981.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the U.S. assistance program to Cyprus. Following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in July and August 1974, a quarter million people were displaced from their homes. International response with financial contributions for health care, food, and protection was prompt and substantial. During the 1974-1975 period, total international relief to Cyprus amounted to $52 million of which the United States contributed almost half.

Since 1975, the United Nations (UN) has made no appeals for further assistance from the international community. However, the Government of Cyprus has continued to request assistance, and the United States contributed an additional $106.5 million during the 1976-1981 period. For fiscal year 1982, the Administration has requested $7.5 million for the Cyprus assistance program. U.S. assistance to Cyprus is channeled through the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), who serves as the program coordinator. In 1975, the program began to shift from relief operations to one with a longer range and developmental character. Funds were increasingly used to finance construction of housing, schools, hospitals, and to provide jobs. However, housing continues to be the Cyprus Government's top priority. The Cyprus Government foresees its housing program continuing into 1983 and beyond. GAO believed that the continued U.S. assistance to Cyprus based on humanitarian needs of the displaced Cypriots should be greatly diminished. If assistance to Cyprus is to be continued GAO believed that the program should be designed to enable the UNHCR to terminate its involvement as coordinator of the U.S. assistance program.

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