(PORTLAND, Ore., June 25, 2010) — On June 10, violence in Kyrgyzstan erupted between nationals and ethnic Uzbeks living in Kyrgyzstan. Since the onset of conflict, close to 300,000 Uzbeks residing in Kyrgyzstan have fled to neighboring Uzbekistan to seek protection.
To help refugees, Medical Teams International sent two Emergency Health Kits to Uzbekistan within the first days after the violence began. Two additional kits will leave next week and arrive in Uzbekistan on July 2. The four kits contain enough medicines and supplies to care for 40,000 people for three months and are valued at $1,684,000. Medicines include essential drugs and medical supplies recommended by the World Health Organization for disasters.
“I am shocked with the situation seen on site,” reported Medical Teams International’s staff on the scene. “This really is a humanitarian catastrophe ... 47 camps have been organized in the Andijan area. Each camp includes approximately 2,500 refugees. Almost 90 percent of the refugees are women, children and elderly.”
The Uzbekistan Ministry of Health has requested additional Emergency Health Kits to meet the growing need. Medical Teams International is seeking assistance and financial support for purchase and delivery of those kits and for the training of Uzbekistan-based train medical staff.
To help support Medical Teams International as they provide medical and food assistance to refugees of Kyrgyzstan, please visit www.medicalteams.org or call 800.959.HEAL (4325). It costs $2,550 to ship each kit.
Medical Team International has been working in Uzbekistan since 1997. They have trained more than 7,000 emergency response volunteers who can be called on to help during this crisis if needed.