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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid