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.
Today’s supplies consist of eight obstetric kits, emergency health medicine for treating of 10,000 children with diarrheal diseases, as well as vitamins and micronutrients for children. They were provided to the main hospital in Osh.
The mobile obstetric kits include all necessary medicine, materials and surgical instruments for 800 births. The kits allow medical workers to carry out normal deliveries as well as undertake surgery on the spot in cases of difficult births.
Nearly 90 School-In-a-Box kits and other water and sanitation gear including 20,000 water containers were also in the convoy.
Veitch said it was “absolutely critical” to ensure the humanitarian aid was distributed equitably.
In neighbouring Uzbekistan when tens of thousands of refugees fled the fighting, conditions in the camps are worsening. There are tensions caused by the crowding and the heat.
UNICEF also is concerned about water and sanitation at the camps and fears an outbreak of diarrheal diseases among babies and children. Currently there is only one toilet per 120 people. The refugees are totally reliant on bottled water.