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PRESS RELEASE BY THE AGENCY FOR THE WELFARE OF ASYLUM SEEKERS

Reference Number: PR192265, Press Release Issue Date: Oct 24, 2019
 
With reference to the article published in the Times of Malta dated 24th October 2019, the Agency
for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers (AWAS) would like to clarify that:

• There are no unaccompanied minors asylum seekers (UMAS) under the age of 16 formally residing
at the Ħal Far Tent Village since AWAS abides by the EU Reception Conditions Directive. All
UMAS who have been transferred to the Ħal Far Tent Village have been age assessed by a
multidisciplinary team and their age established to be 16 years and over.

• In collaboration with another entity (Peace Lab), food will continue to be distributed. The situation
is still challenging because the area used by the administration and reception is still not structurally
safe, due to the fire, damaged electrical cables, and damaged premises. The Open Centre has been
rendered dysfunctional and the offices have been completely destroyed. AWAS is working to restore
functionality as soon as possible.

• Currently, AWAS is working on the premises to remove any hazardous material or situations, render
the place safe, and establish logistical and administrative focal points.

• Furthermore, the centre is working with reduced staff since a number of workers are reporting sick
due to psychological difficulties suffered as a result of the unfortunate events.​