NEW YORK, 15 June 2010 - UNICEF today reported 90 per cent of the refugees from fighting in Southern Kyrgyzstan were children, women and the elderly. A rapid assessment revealed that many children suffered physical and mental violence.
More than 100,000 refugees are in Uzbekistan, most of whom are located in about 75 camps around the city of Andijan.
UNICEF has seven staff monitoring the situation of children who have fled the violence which started last Thursday. The agency will deploy as soon as possible counsellors to assist with wide scale psychosocial interventions.
Today, seven UNICEF trucks carrying emergency supplies were on their way to eastern Uzbekistan to provide refugees with tents, clothes, blankets, health kits and kitchen sets. Valued at $100,000, the supplies are an initial response.
In Kyrgyzstan, the first UNICEF emergency supplies reached Osh, the city where fighting erupted last Thursday. The supplies were medicines and surgical materials to treat 1600 people. A small amount of water and sanitation supplies have also been provided.
However, in Kyrgyzstan the UN still cannot access affected areas in South of the country due to the insecure situation.
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,