News / Asia

    Aid Trickles Into Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, But Obstacles Remain

    A week after deadly riots killed more than 190 people and displaced hundreds of thousands of others in southern Kyrgyzstan, foreign aid deliveries are starting to arrive in neighboring Uzbekistan. But aid groups say they are having trouble reaching the people desperately in need of humanitarian aid in the violence-hit areas of Kyrgyzstan, where the situation remains tense.

    On Thursday, the United Nations refugee agency said that Kyrgyz officials and aid agencies on the ground report some 400,000 people have been internally displaced in Kyrgyzstan.  That is a significant rise from the 200,000 reported earlier this week,  a reflection of the ongoing danger in the south.

    Families and host communities are housing most of those who have fled their homes, according to the UNHCR.  But the agency estimates at least 40,000 other people need shelter.

    UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards warned the current situation can't go on for much longer.  He said resources from families and communities hosting the displaced are being stretched to the limit.  And, soon, they too will need assistance.  

    "What we at UNHCR are doing is really looking at fundamentally the shelter needs, at essential non-food items.  All the unglamorous stuff that goes with emergency situations - flying in plastic sheets, buckets, tents - anything we can to help the people in need," said Edwards. "This is early days of a crisis in Central Asia and, by all signs, we have to plan, I think, for problems for some time to come."

    The U.N. refugee agency said the situation in Osh and nearby villages appears to be volatile with sporadic clashes reportedly erupting around the town of Jalalabad.  It says many families have left in fear and gone to the capital, Bishkek, or other areas.

    Humanitarian aid, including tents and blankets, have begun arriving in the strife-torn southern part of the country, but relief groups say security concerns are hampering distribution efforts.  In some ethnic Uzbek neighborhoods, many families have barricaded themselves in their houses for fear of attack from ethnic Kyrgyz gangs.

    Edwards said the U.N. is conducting an assessment.

    "This is an extraordinarily difficult situation and the priority has to be to get aid to the people in need.  We will be flying aid into Osh in the next days and when that arrives, we will have to get that to the people in need, whether we have staff on the ground or not.  And that means perhaps working with other partners there, the ICRC [the International Committee of the Red Cross] or others," Edwards said.

    A UNHCR airlift to Kyrgyzstan is scheduled to begin this weekend.  The agency says it will be sending two planes loaded with 80 tons of supplies for 15,000 people.

    Meanwhile, the agency said the government of Uzbekistan is providing assistance and shelter to an estimated 100,000 refugees who fled spiraling violence in Kyrgyzstan.  The first two planes stocked with relief landed in Uzbekistan on Wednesday.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.