Kyrgyzstan: WFP Delivers Food To Displaced Civilians

WFP has distributed food to thousands of people affected by the humanitarian crisis in Kyrgyzstan and is calling on all sides to allow the delivery of food and medical supplies.

BISHKEK (18 June 2010) – WFP has distributed a two-week ration of food to a group of 13,000 people in the southern city of Osh, the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan and epicentre of the fighting which broke out last week. With the help of local partners, WFP gave out 100 metric tons of wheat flour and three metric tons of oil to people trapped in their neighbourhoods by the violence.

“This crisis is unfolding rapidly and WFP is mobilizing its global expertise to ensure that the vulnerable –  particularly women and children – do not suffer,” said WFP’s Executive Director Josette Sheeran. “We implore all sides to ensure humanitarian access to the vulnerable, trapped by the crisis,” she said.   

The International Committee of the Red Cross also distributed WFP food on Friday, distributing nearly 40 tons of nutrient-enriched flour -- enough to feed 100,000 people for a day -- and 11 tons of vegetable oil to hospitals and displaced people in camps around Osh.

Special airlift

A special airlift scheduled for the weekend is expected to bring around 110 metric tons of high energy biscuits from the WFP warehouse in Dubai. These biscuits – enough to provide daily rations for 206,000 refugees and displaced people -- will go to Osh and to Andijan, in Uzbekistan.

According to UN figures, some 400,000 people in Kyrgyzstan have fled their homes, around 100,000 of whom crossed the border into neighbouring Uzbekistan in search of refuge.

Roads unsafe

Transporting aid from the capital, Bishkek, remains difficult, as roads are not safe and commercial trucking companies are reluctant to risk their vehicles.

WFP currently has 3,000 metric tons of food – mainly wheat flour and oil— pre-positioned in Kyrgyzstan.  This is enough to feed 87,000 people for two months and WFP stands ready to assist those in need as long as safe and unimpeded access is available.

WFP’s UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Brindisi, Italy, is on standby to provide  emergency supplies and logistics support. WFP is leading the coordination of  the logistics and IT support for the whole humanitarian community.

WFP has been working in Kyrgyzstan since 2008, helping the most vulnerable families survive the harsh winter months. In 2009 the agency distributed food commodities to 264,000 people.

Photo: Women in a refugee camp on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Thousands remain stranded in camps along the border after fighting broke out across the south of the ex-Soviet state. AFP Photo/Victor Drachev










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