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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Secret Service Head: White House Security Lapse 'Unacceptable'

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid