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October 8, 10

NEWS / Four months after Kyrgyzstan violence, UN refugee agency reports strides


8 October 2010 – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today that good progress has been made to help the displaced and returnees four months after violence rocked southern Kyrgyzstan.

Deadly clashes in June in the southern cities of Osh and Jalalabad between Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks affected nearly half a million people, uprooting nearly 400,000 and sending many fleeing to neighbouring Uzbekistan.

Some 1,700 homes were completely destroyed and nearly 2,000 more damaged, “with many losing their personal documents in the process, creating subsequent difficulties for them in resuming a normal life,” UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming told reporters in Geneva.

In the wake of the violence, the agency was tasked with coordinating the Protection and Shelter clusters of the international humanitarian response, and its work has included constructing transitional shelters, restoring personal documents, protection and ensuring access to basic services.

UNHCR teams have also been taking part in confidence-building activities and the prevention of future displacement.

To date, the agency, together with its partners, has built more than 1,300 transitional emergency shelters and the foundations for a further 1,300 have been laid.

More than 100 families are expected to move into homes built with UNHCR help next week.

“The worst-affected neighbourhoods in Osh and Jalalabad appear revitalized with inhabitants constructing transitional shelters on the foundations of their destroyed homes,” Ms. Fleming said.

Before the start of winter, UNHCR will distribute warm clothing and shoes, mattresses, blankets, stoves and other supplies to thousands of displaced people, host families and other needy people in the two cities.

The agency has also helped to set up mobile registration teams to reach people in areas hardest-hit by the violence to speed up the re-issuing of lost or damaged personal and property documents.

It is also supporting roving legal clinics run by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) providing free counselling on land and property issues.

“With parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan this weekend, UNHCR hopes that the situation will stabilize and that urgent humanitarian assistance and confidence-building measures will continue to be delivered to people in need,” Ms. Fleming said.

On the sidelines of the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon assured Kyrgyz President Rosa Otunbaeva of continued UN support for the Central Asian nation’s rehabilitation, recovery and reconciliation following the June clashes.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=36372&Cr=kyrgyz&Cr1=

Tags: personal document, document, personal documents,
 




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