Statement by United Nations Country Team on the humanitarian situation in southern Kyrgyzstan
Statement by United Nations Country Team on the humanitarian situation in southern Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek (13 June 2010) -- The United Nations in Kyrgyzstan is shocked and alarmed about the violence that has been taking place in southern Kyrgyzstan since 10 June. We express our condolences to the victims and their families, and appeal to all sides to immediately stop all violence and ensure the protection of civilians throughout the country.

There are reports of continued targeted and indiscriminate attacks resulting in deaths, injuries, displacement, destruction of property, and other crimes which have been committed against women and children.  Reports of the separation of family members as a result of the events of the past two days are deeply worrying.

The United Nations has received initial requests from the Interim Government for humanitarian assistance and has shared these with donors and international actors. Coordination of humanitarian assistance has begun, with seven humanitarian clusters activated. Some aid has already been delivered, particularly in the health and food sectors.

However, an urgent improvement is needed in the security situation in Osh, Jalalabat and other affected areas in order that the humanitarian situation and needs can be thoroughly assessed, and adequate humanitarian aid delivered quickly. To ensure effective implementation of humanitarian activities, it is essential to provide for the safety of humanitarian and medical staff, access to critical facilities, and exchange of data and information.

We welcome the fact that Uzbekistan opened its borders on 12 June to admit refugees fleeing from the violence in Kyrgyzstan, and trust that such access will continue to be provided as necessary.

Food, medicine, shelter and protection are critical issues at this stage. There are clear indications that food supply is running out in the city of Osh. Medical supplies have been arriving in the city, but in insufficient quantities. In addition, measures should be taken to ensure that two rounds of polio immunisation planned for July and August can go ahead throughout the country. There are serious concerns about the shelter needs of internally displaced persons and those made homeless in the violence. Meanwhile, there are reports that persons displaced near the border with Uzbekistan are short of water.

The UN system will continue to keep all partners and donors informed of developments. A request for humanitarian support is currently being prepared for the international community.