International Rescue Committee Dispatches Emergency Staff to Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan As Humanitarian Crisis Grows
The International Rescue Committee is sending emergency relief specialists to Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan as the humanitarian situation worsens for tens of thousands of people displaced by ethnic fighting in southern Kyrgyzstan.
The latest reports say skirmishes abated today but tensions remain high in Osh, Jalal-Abad and surrounding areas after four days of bloodshed and destruction – largely carried out by Kyrgyz gangs against minority ethnic Uzbeks.
The violence sent tens of thousands of frightened people fleeing for safety. Uzbekistan’s Foreign Ministry says as many as 100,000 refugees have poured across the border into makeshift camps. Tens of thousands more have massed at the border in Kyrgyzstan. The majority are reportedly women, children and the elderly and many were wounded in the violence.
UN officials say there is an urgent need for medical care, food, water and other emergency supplies and are calling for a humanitarian corridor to ensure the delivery of aid to people in need.
IRC protection experts are joining the UN Refugee Agency’s emergency teams in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan tomorrow (Wednesday) to support UN relief efforts, while the IRC is planning to dispatch emergency staff from other locations in the region to launch a needs assessment. The IRC is also giving an initial $30,000 to a partner on the ground to fund food and emergency supplies for those driven from their homes.
The IRC is raising emergency funds to address critical humanitarian needs in the region.
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Melissa Winkler, melissa.winkler@theIRC.org, 1 212 551 0972 or 1 646 734 0305