Uzbek-Kyrgyz Refugee Crisis Mobilises International Aid Response

Jun 29, 2010, 06:14 ET from Social Initiative Support Fund (SISF)

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, June 29, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Since the 10th of June, when significant acts of violence largely against Uzbeks in the Kyrgyz cities of Osh and Jalalabad began, Uzbekistan has opened its border to accept some 80,000 refugees - mostly women, children and the elderly - and provided significant support in terms of humanitarian aid.

Uzbekistani NGOs and public organizations of Uzbekistan have been dispatching high volumes of humanitarian aid for refugees. The Mehr Nuri Charitable Foundation, The Fund Forum, The Social Initiatives Support Fund, The Women's Council Public Association - all under the patronage of Gulnara Karimova, have rushed 371 tons of humanitarian aid in the form of emergency medical and food supplies - to those affected by the events in Kyrgyzstan.

Camps have been set up near the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border in the Andijan region where refugees are being helped by young volunteers who have rallied to collect and distribute medication and food.

According to UNHCR, the rapid flare-up of violence has led to the displacement of an estimated 200,000 people within the country, along with those who have fled to Uzbekistan.

The Uzbekistani people have rallied together to collect humanitarian aid and support their neighbours, collecting food, clothes and medicine to assist the relief effort.

The international community, including the UN, UNICEF, WFP, UNHCR, ICRC and other organisations, has expressed its deep concern about the situation in South Kyrgyzstan and has been making significant efforts to provide humanitarian aid and contribute to stabilisation.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged restraint to prevent further loss of life in light of the renewed violence in Kyrgyzstan.

SOURCE Social Initiative Support Fund (SISF)