NEW YORK, 14 June 2010 - UNICEF today dispatched emergency supplies to refugees who have fled fighting in Kyrgyzstan. The initial rapid response supplies left in six trucks from Tashkent, the capital of neighbouring Uzbekistan.
The supplies comprise 76 tents, 2,210 blankets, 25 emergency health kits including bandages, soaps, sanitary napkins, disposable diapers etc.; approximately 500 kitchen sets, 1,100 T-shirts, 900 packs of water purification tablets and 1764 water containers valued at $70,000.
The refugees are located in the Fergana Valley near the border of the two countries. The Uzbekistan Government has opened schools and colleges to accommodate the refugees who have streamed out of Osh and Jalalabad, just across the border in Kyrgyzstan since ethnic fighting began last Thursday.
Based on official figures, UNICEF estimates refugees to number approximately 100,000. Ninety per cent are women, children and the elderly.
Further supplies are being procured in Uzbekistan and internationally and will be delivered as they are received.
UNICEF is deeply concerned about the condition of children in Southern Kyrgyzstan, and urges all parties to protect them.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
For further information, please contact:
John Budd, UNICEF Geneva,
Tel + 41 22 909 5429,
Patrick McCormick, UNICEF Media, New York,
Tel + 1 212 326-7426,