News / Asia

Aid Trickles Into Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, But Obstacles Remain

TEXT SIZE - +

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 Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid