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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid