News / Europe

UN Reports Life in Uzbek Refugee Camps as Miserable

United Nations aid agencies describe conditions for refugees who have fled into Uzbekistan from ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan as appalling.   They say overcrowding and sizzling temperatures are making life miserable for thousands of Uzbek refugees. 

Since ethnic clashes erupted on June 11, more than 30 airplanes loaded with relief supplies have arrived in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.  

And, while these supplies are meeting essential needs, UN aid agencies say life for people on both sides of the border remains difficult and tense.

The UN refugee agency estimates some 100,000 refugees have fled Kyrgyzstan into Uzbekistan.  Most of them are women, children, and the elderly.

Aid arrives


UNHCR spokesman, Adrian Edwards, says the agency has airlifted 240 tons of aid to Uzbekistan, including tents, plastic sheeting, blankets and other basic supplies. 

"The Uzbek authorities tell us there are now more than 50 sites hosting refugees along the border.  From our meetings with refugees so far it is clear that many are still struggling to deal with family separations during the flight from southern Kyrgyzstan.  We spoke to one elderly woman who told us she was returning to Osh to find her daughter and new born grandchild who had been left behind in a building basement in the rush to escape.  We are seeing similar tales," he said. 

The International Committee of the Red Cross reports seeing large numbers of people returning to Jalalabad.  And, the Kyrgyz Frontier Service reports more than 7,500 refugees have returned over the past couple of days.

The UN Children's Fund says a convoy carrying 40 tons of supplies arrived in Osh Tuesday morning, right after delivering relief items in Jalalabad.

UNICEF regional officer, John Budd, says the supplies include obstetric kits, medicine for treating 10,000 children with diarrheal diseases, and water and sanitation gear.  

He says more supplies are being airlifted into Osh on Wednesday and two cargo planes with emergency supplies will arrive in Andijan, Uzbekistan on Wednesday or Thursday.

Overcrowding leads to tension

Budd says tensions are rising in Uzbekistan due to overcrowding in the camps.  He says children are in particular need of protection against dehydration because of the increasing heat.

"We have great concern about water and sanitation in the refugee camps," Budd said. "There is one toilet per 120 people.  Bottled water is currently being provided for drinking in the camps and this is not sustainable.  And, already there are indications that water will be in short supply in the coming days as well as an increased risk of water-born communicable diseases, particularly among babies and children.  Privacy is an issue for breast-feeding women and they need special support for exclusive breast-feeding."  

Budd says UNICEF and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation conducted an assessment last week, which shows the number of drinking water points in the camps needs to be doubled.

He says children between the ages of one and 15 will be vaccinated against measles and rubella.  He says UNICEF has just finished vaccinating 52,000 children against polio.

You May Like

New England Bears Brunt of US Blizzard

Boston, surrounding region grapple with as much as 3 feet of snow, coastal flooding; leaders in New York, spared most severe weather, criticized for being overly cautious More

China Lifts Lid on Sale of Fake Goods Online

A recent survey found nearly 60 percent of a random sample of items bought from Taobao were fake More

Upward Aims to Create Old-girls Network in Silicon Valley

Lisa Lambert, an executive with Intel Corp.'s venture-capital unit, responds to the gender-disparity debate by creating a new social organization 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid