18 June 2010
As the scope of this week’s horrific ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan comes to light, the British Red Cross has increased the amount of aid it is sending to the region.
Violence broke out between ethnic Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbek people in southern Kyrgyzstan on 11 June. The fighting lasted several days and has left nearly 200 people confirmed dead.
The clashes have also led to a massive population shift. Up to 250,000 people – mostly women and children – have fled across the border to Uzbekistan, where they are staying in makeshift refugee camps. Up to 375,000 people are displaced in Kyrgyzstan itself.
Yesterday the British Red Cross pledged £100,000 from its Disaster Fund to provide aid to refugees in Uzbekistan and people affected by violence in Kyrgyzstan. Today the organisation has given an additional £40,000.
Part of the British Red Cross’ donation is in the form of relief items – 3,000 hygiene kits, 4,000 blankets and 842 kitchen sets – which will arrive in Uzbekistan this weekend and be distributed among refugees there.
The remaining contribution from the British Red Cross will support the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which – along with the Kyrgyz Red Crescent – has been working in southern Kyrgyzstan since the violence erupted.
The ICRC says that food, water, shelter and medicine are the biggest priorities.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is committed to delivering humanitarian aid and restoring contact between families on both sides of the border.
Read about what the ICRC’s doing
Read about the relief operation in Uzbekistan (on the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' website)
Learn about how we help women in Kyrgyzstan
Read about our Kyrgyzstan tuberculosis programme
A donation from our Disaster Fund has been made in response to this crisis. Contributions to the Disaster Fund will not be used directly in response to this disaster, but will be used in response to other emergencies in the future.