First international aid reaches Kyrgyzstan victims of conflict. (A report from June 16 on the aftermath of ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan)
Arriving from the United Nations on Wednesday, June 16, the initial shipment of emergency supplies were destined for some 100,000 ethnic Uzbek residents fleeing Kyrgyzstan’s civil conflict who have sought refuge in neighboring Uzbekistan. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres sent a special thanks to the Uzbek government for welcoming the displaced persons, as the United Nations agency also plans four more planeloads of humanitarian aid by week’s end. The UN refugee agency has stated that besides the refugees in Uzbekistan, another 300,000 people are estimated to have been displaced inside Kyrgyzstan due to the conflict.
Mr. Andrej Mahecic, spokesperson, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (M): According to the Uzbek Government more than 75,000 refugees have crossed from Kyrgyzstan since Friday. We appreciate Uzbekistan’s decision to receive and assist these desperate people. In total we plan to deliver 240 metric tons of humanitarian assistance from our emergency stockpile in Dubai. Upon arrival in Uzbekistan, they say it will be loaded onto trucks and then immediately taken to the various sites hosting refugees and that will be done in the close coordination with the government.
Meanwhile, a first flight from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) landed on Thursday in Andijon, Uzbekistan, with another flight carrying tents and medical kits scheduled for the following day.
Anna Nelson, Spokesperson, International Committee of the Red Cross (F): This morning they were able to visit and assess the situation at the main hospital in Jalal-Abad. About 5 minutes ago I got the initial assessment of the situation in the hospital there. They were able to distribute enough materials to assist around 60 wounded people at the hospital in Jalal-Abad.
Russia has also dispatched three airplanes containing food supplies, and the Chinese government sent approximately US$735,000 in medicine, drinking water, blankets and tents. The United States also committed US$6.5 million through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to assist with immediate humanitarian necessities as well as longer-term recovery.
Our heartfelt gratefulness to all countries, agencies and individuals sending comforting sustenance to those in need. We pray that all the people of Kyrgyzstan may soon be restored to lives of lasting stability and peace.