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According to a survey conducted by the UNDP, 53% of Greek Cypriots and 29% of Turkish Cypriots trust one another, compared with 19% and 4% respectively in 2006.

UNDP notes that it has ended a ten year, multi-million dollar initiative that has bridged differences and helped create a dialogue among communities on the long-divided island.

Funded by USAID to the tune of over $60 million USD, the Action for Cooperation and Trust (ACT) programme helped create an intricate set of relationships across ethnic lines, spanning civil society, business and politics.

The programme has also contributed to restoring the island’s historic buildings in a major boost for the island`s memory and identity, it adds.

ACT Programme Manager, Christopher Louise, said that “as the programming draws to a close, we are seeing great optimism with regard to the peace process. The two leaders have committed to a shared goal of reaching a comprehensive settlement as swiftly as possible, while influential civic and political leaders from all communities are now working together to design a societal road map for a solution. These efforts are succeeding because of ACT’s work over the last decade.”

According to the press release, the UN’s work in Cyprus over the decades has resulted in monumental shifts in how the island’s communities deal with each other.

“The peace negotiations show clear signs of progress. But the true legacy of UNDP-ACT has been its ability to create a space for civic dialogue that feeds into the Cyprus peace process, lending it additional legitimacy and credibility”, it concludes.

This article is serviced by Public Information Office as a Media Rewiew. This is NOT an official public release of MFA