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As Uzbek refugees return to Kyrgyzstan, UNICEF airlifts aid to affected region

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (28 June, 2010) – Mashura Mamakhanova’s thumb and index finger seem impossibly large as they caress her daughter’s tiny hand in the incubator where the newborn sleeps. Born 10 weeks premature, the baby weighs just 900 grammes, but doctors at the Perinatal Centre in Andijan, Uzbekistan had no choice but to induce her birth.

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“The doctors had already told me I was in critical condition with kidney problems and high blood pressure,” Ms. Mamakhanova, 30, said from her hospital bed, where she must still spend most of her day.   

For displaced families in Kyrgyzstan, a difficult road back from the brink

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, (25 June 2010) – The civil unrest in southern Kyrgyzstan has not spared any household in Djalal-Abad province.

Hasan and Zulhumar Amanbaev and their four children lived all their lives in peace in the town of Djalal-Abad. On 12 June, the day after the killings started, they had to flee their house. At first they hid with relatives in Begabat village, several kilometres out of town. But again they were forced to leave, seeking safety in fields or gardens, fearing they would have to flee Kyrgyzstan altogether.     

Lifesaving supplies delivered to conflict-ridden southern Kyrgyzstan
OSH, 22 June 2010 - UNICEF delivered forty tonnes of much needed emergency supplies to the tense and divided city of Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan today.

An operations centre has also been established at the airport in Osh to handle a massive airlift of supplies in the pipeline.

UNICEF’s Representative in Kyrgyzstan, Jonathan Veitch, said flights would be arriving daily all this week.

Aid reaches displaced and refugee families in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, and KURGANPATA, Uzbekistan, (21 June 2010) – Despite continuing concerns about security, UNICEF has started a large airlift and overland distribution of supplies to people displaced by violence in Kyrgyzstan. At the same time, some of the ethnic Uzbek families that fled the country into neighbouring Uzbekistan have now moved from transit points into bigger camps supported by UNICEF.

More than 200 people are officially confirmed dead and over 2,000 wounded as a result of the violence, which broke out in southern Kyrgyzstan on 10 June, and media reports quoting the country’s interim government continue to suggest that the actual number of casualties could be much higher.

According to government and UN estimates, at least 300,000 people are internally displaced in Kyrgyzstan, while almost 100,000 have crossed the border into Uzbekistan and are now refugees.    

Press release: UNICEF calls for full access for humanitarian relief in southern Krygystan
BISHKEK, (June 18 2010) -- UNICEF warned that lack of access was hampering the delivery of humanitarian relief for the 1.1 million people affected by fighting in southern Krygystan.

Jonathan Veitch, UNICEF’s Head of Office in Krygystan said that 40 tonnes of lifesaving water and sanitary supplies would arrive in the capital Bishkek tomorrow.

“However we are concerned that we will be unable to easily and quickly distribute the supplies to the most affected. Security is an issue, particularly as we are transporting valuable material,” he noted.

The situation is exacerbated by criminal activity along roads leading to the south and in Osh and Jalalabad.

“There has been a serious breakdown in infrastructure and security in the south,” Vietch said.     

Refugees pour into camps in Uzbekistan, escaping Kyrgyz clashes: Saved lives, broken hearts, deep scars

UNICEF and partners are sending emergency shelter, medical and hygiene supplies to refugees in eastern Uzbekistan who have fled violence in Kyrgyzstan. A firsthand report from one of the refugee camps follows.

ANDIJAN, Uzbekistan (16 June 2010) – Navruza, 14, seems calm but her eyes are full of sorrow. Along with her mother and two brothers, she managed to escape deadly clashes in the town of Osh, in southern Kyrgyzstan, and find refuge across the border in neighbouring Uzbekistan.

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They are now at a refugee camp in Hujobod district, located in Uzbekistan’s Andijan region. But the rest of Navruza’s family – her father, another brother and her grandmother – are still in Osh. “We don’t know whether they are alive or not,” says Navruza.    

UNICEF: Kyrgyzstan fighting splits families

BISHKEK, (16 June 2010) -- With approximately 400,000 people displaced by fighting in Southern Kyrgyzstan, UNICEF warned today that separated families and missing children are an emerging issue.

UNICEF's head of office in Kyrgyzstan, Jonathon Veitch expressed concern about the thousands of families that have been split up. "Ninety per cent of the refugees who fled into Uzbekistan were women, children and the elderly."

"The families need to be reunited as soon as possible."   

UNICEF trucks supplies to ethnic Uzbeks fleeing violence in Kyrgyzstan

NEW YORK, USA, 14 June 2010 – UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan Jean-Michel Delmotte has described a chaotic situation as thousands of ethnic Uzbeks, mostly women and children, flee ethnic violence in neighbouring Kyrgyzstan.

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Despite appeals from UNICEF and other humanitarian organizations, the Uzbek Government today closed its borders, saying it couldn’t cope with the influx. UNICEF has sent several trucks with basic emergency aid for the refugees, including food, water, medical and sanitation supplies. More supplies are on their way.

“I’m very concerned that the authorities have closed the borders,” Mr. Delmotte said in a telephone interview with UNICEF Radio. He had just returned from the border, about 4 km from the southern Kyrgyzstan city of Osh, where much of the violence is centred.   

Press release: The results of national research into child poverty and inequality in Kyrgyzstan were presented in UN House to mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

“Among the events carried out to mark the 20th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, the presentation of the report on child poverty and deprivation is key,” noted Tim Schaffter, UNICEF Representative in Kyrgyzstan, in his welcoming speech.  “Children, their wellbeing and their future should always be at the centre of attention of society, national policies and strategies,” he said.

The authors of the research – the Presidential Institute of Strategic Analysis and Evaluation, in cooperation with the National Statistical Committee and CASE-Kyrgyzstan Centre for Socioeconomic Research – noted that despite steady growth in basic socioeconomic indicators, and measures that have been taken to reduce poverty in Kyrgyzstan, every second child in the country continues to live and grow in poverty. 

Press release: On 19 November 2009 a meeting was held of children from socially vulnerable groups with Timothy Schaffter, head of UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund.

The meeting was organised by the NGO Network for Child Rights and UNICEF in Kyrgyzstan.  The Deputy Minister of Labour, Employment and Migration also participated.

The meeting took place on the International Day for the Prevention of Violence against Children (19 November), and just before International Children’s Day (20 November) in the framework of the Network’s Childhood without Violence and Cruelty public campaign.

The aim of the campaign is to promote implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in the Kyrgyz Republic.  The main participants in the campaign are children.


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