In 1974 nearly half the population of Cyprus was forcibly displaced and settled in new areas. They were mostly Greek Cypriots who were forced out of their homes in the districts of Kyrenia, Famagusta and Nicosia and settled in refugee housing and Turkish Cypriot houses left behind by their owners to settle in the occupied areas. The pain of uprooting and the wish for return continues today, 32 years after, to be the refugees’ everyday companion.
It was with this background that the Council of Ministers decided to establish the Council for Reconstruction and Resettlement (CRR) in order to prepare for dealing with the problems arising from the movement of population in the event of a solution. The terms of reference of the CRR span all aspects of these problems.
Some of the aims of the CRR are listed below.
- Planning the return of people to deserted houses in an ordered way to avoid safety and other problems.
- The encouragement of return to areas to be returned to Greek Cypriot jurisdiction and the assurance of normal development in these areas.
- The encouragement of return to areas that will remain under Turkish Cypriot jurisdiction and the assurance of safety and acceptable living conditions.
- Study of the results of population movement because of the return of refugees, both in the destination and the origin areas.
- Planning for the development of necessary infrastructure for the functioning of a reunified island and the development of areas subject to population movements.
- Assessment of the structural condition of buildings and the development of procedures and techniques for the restoration and upgrading of their functionality and safety.
- Town planning and legislation for areas subject to changes, especially the main destination areas for resettling population.
- Planning of reconstruction and resettlement projects and the development of fast response procedures.
- Allocation and control of projects in the immediate period after a settlement.
- Coordination of various Organization and Services (Municipalities, Government agencies, Semi-governmental Organizations, Private Institutions etc.) to be involved in the resettlement process.