|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 is mobilizing nearly $10 million dollars to provide emergency relief to the displaced people in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Conditions among the refugee camps in Uzbekistan are cramped with major water and sanitation problems.
Veitch stated that reports of diarrheal disease outbreaks were coming in from Southern Kyrgyzstan. "We will have more emergency supplies arriving in Osh at the weekend."
"Security concerns still hamper our operation Kyrgyzstan," he said
UNICEF's Representative in Uzbekistan Jean-Michel Delmotte who has just returned from the border in eastern Uzbekistan said he had seen hundreds of children who were suffering psychologically and physically.
"It is heart-wrenching and UNICEF will deploy as soon as possible counsellors to assist with wide scale psychosocial interventions."
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,