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UNICEF: Thousands seeking shelter in southern Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK, 25 June 2010 - Thousands of people are on the move in southern Kyrgyzstan seeking shelter, says UNICEF

“Many of them are trying to return home, even if their homes have been destroyed,” said Jonathan Veitch, UNICEF’s Representative in Kyrgyzstan “While most apparently intend to stay with neighbours or relatives there is now a significant need for temporary shelters.”

The Government of Kyrgyzstan has reported that 75,000 refugees in Uzbekistan made the move back in the last few days, 90 per cent of them are women and children.

UNICEF has quickly changed the focus of its response. An airlift of emergency material scheduled to go into Andijan in Uzbekistan, will land tomorrow and have its supplies trucked across the border into Kyrgyzstan. The supplies comprise tarpaulins, nearly 800 family water kits, and 100 basic health kits, plus medicines and anti-diarrheal medicine.

UNICEF’s humanitarian relief operation in Kyrgyzstan is now fully functional. Three aircraft have arrived with supplies. The supplies are being distributed in Osh and Jalalabad provinces where UNICEF is operational.

The airlifted supplies include medical kits such as diarrheal disease sets, midwifery kits, obstetric surgical kits; Vitamin A, jerry cans, collapsible water tanks, basic family water kits, tarpaulins, education and child protection supplies. The medical supplies are being distributed to hospitals, while others are being distributed to primarily the most vulnerable among the internally displaced children and communities.

UNICEF has opened an operations base and warehouse field in Osh to run the emergency response.

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,




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