Amid financial crisis, Cyprus convicts offer help

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Dozens of inmates at Cyprus' central prisons have donated around 9,000 euros ($11,649) to a volunteer clinic in order to help needy families receive free medical attention amid the country's most severe economic crisis in decades.

The inmates, many of them serving long sentences, raised the cash from the pocket money they're allowed to keep for purchases at the prisons' canteen. Lara Ioannou, whose husband has 4 years left on a 13-year drug conviction, helped hand the money Saturday to Eleni Theocharous, a Cypriot European parliament member and pediatric surgeon who also runs the country's first volunteer clinic in the heart of the capital's medieval center.

Ioannou said inmates thought that access to medical attention is equally important as food as needy families try to weather the country's financial collapse.

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