US agency takes gloomy view of Cyprus funds

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Trying to get Greek Cypriots to get on with Turkish Cypriots may be a waste of money, according to a report commissioned by the US Agency for International Development. The report, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, said 35 to 45 percent of some $6.4 million the agency had given local non-governmental organizations on both sides of the divided island had done little or nothing to foster rapprochement. It questioned whether the so-called Bicommunal Development Project (BDP) was worth continuing. Turkish Cypriots voted «yes» in a referendum on a UN reunification blueprint in April, while Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly voted «no.» «With the Greek-Cypriot rejection of the plan, it is not clear whether there will be, or should be, a continuation of the BDP or any other foreign grant programming dedicated to convincing the Greek Cypriots to ‘vote for peace,’» the report said. «The factors which caused these citizens to reject a settlement may well be too powerful for any such program to succeed.»