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Civil conflict has broken out in southern Kyrgyzstan in its second largest city, Osh, between Kyrgyzes and minority Uzbeks. An estimated 115 people have been killed in gun fighting. There are reports of extreme, ethnically motivated violence, the worst in 20 years. Approximately 80,000 people, predominately ethnic Uzbeks, have fled across the border to seek refuge in neighboring Uzbekistan. Most are being sheltered in refugee camps in three districts of the Andijan province, and some 20,000 are expected to be residing with relatives.
“AmeriCares is coordinating a response to provide assistance to victims of brutal ethnic violence in local hospitals,” says Ella Gudwin, AmeriCares program director for the region. “Over 800 people have been hospitalized for gun-shot wounds, burnings and other violent attacks.”
AmeriCares is working with the U.S. State Department and international relief partners to prepare an airlift of emergency aid, including critical medicines and medical supplies requested by local health officials.
Additionally, AmeriCares is working to provide assistance to refugees in Uzbekistan. AmeriCares is responding to the request for medical and hygiene items with our long-standing local partner, Soglom Avlod Uchun, to support their efforts to cope with the growing refugee crisis.
AmeriCares has provided more than $240 million worth of lifesaving medicines and medical supplies to Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and has worked in the region since 1994.
Uzbekistan, a former Soviet Bloc country, sits at the cross roads of Asia and the Middle East. AmeriCares supports a broad range of healthcare institutions throughout Uzbekistan. Aid provided by AmeriCares reaches patients in hospitals, mother-child clinics, rehabilitation centers and orphanages. Special programs include a cardiovascular disease initiative – as heart diseases are the leading cause of death in Uzbekistan— and an outreach initiative, the Health Train, which brings primary care to remote communities near the Aral Sea.
Like many Central Asian countries, Kyrgyzstan continues to gain its economic and political footing following the dissolution of the Soviet Bloc in the early 1990s. More than 20% of the people of Kyrgystan survive on less than $2 a day and nearly half lack access to essential medicines. AmeriCares has provided medical and humanitarian support periodically to its Global Medical Assistance Program since 1996. We have delivered medicines and medical supplies to support local partner’s health and social services programs for orphans, the elderly and other vulnerable populations.
AmeriCares Commitment to Saving Lives Around the World
AmeriCares commitment to refugees and families suffering due to the current civil unrest builds on our experience and expertise in delivering critical medical aid under difficult circumstances to hard-to-reach places. Overcoming the challenges of man-made crises such as Darfur and natural disasters worldwide, AmeriCares has a proven track record of delivering aid whenever and wherever it’s needed.
From remote villages in the Himalayan mountains and communities deep in the jungles of Guatemala to distressed cities in the U.S., such as Detroit and New Orleans, AmeriCares goes the extra mile to get lifesaving medical supplies into the hands of people in need. Your support helps people in conflict-ridden Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan as well as millions of other men, women and children in crisis around the world.