The Malta Independent 15 April 2024, Monday
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AWAS building will no longer host migrants, will become a space for the Marsa community instead

Wednesday, 3 April 2024, 18:59 Last update: about 11 days ago

The old Marsa school of Dun Ġwann Mamo, known as the AWAS building, is no longer going to serve as accommodation for migrants, as the government moves to fulfil another of its pre-electoral promises.

The Ministry for Internal Affairs, Work and Security plans for the sports facilities and other spaces of this building to be open for use by the Marsa community. Indeed, they will be under the administration of the Marsa Local Council, and in fact, in the last few months, the Marsa Local Council was given access to the building and began using it to host activities.

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Furthermore, in these last few months, the building has started undergoing renovations for its future use as an administrative building. This is another part of the plans for upgrading the Marsa area, the ministry said.

“The Marsa Community has carried a disproportionate responsibility these last few years and this government intends to change the situation. We managed to close the centre without imposing any burden on other localities. This took several years as we had to be certain that the shift will not affect any of the services provided by AWAS,” Minister Byron Camilleri said.    

Camilleri said that this was one of several decisions taken by government to address irregular migration into the country and added that in 2023 more asylum seekers left the country than were taken in.

Whilst Maltese authorities remain prepared for every instance, the decisions taken have proven to make a difference to their surrounding communities with Camilleri making reference to the decrease in migrant arrivals, the streamlining of the process of the migrants being granted asylum, and the emphasis to return irregular migrants to their home countries.

Camilleri thanked all the AWAS workers and praised their work in helping people facing various challenges.

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