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Updated: June 17, 2010 08:34 IST

U.S. announces immediate humanitarian aid to Kyrgyz Republic

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Uzbek refugees who fled from Kyrgyzstan live in a refugee camp on the border village of Erkishlok. File Photo: AP
Uzbek refugees who fled from Kyrgyzstan live in a refugee camp on the border village of Erkishlok. File Photo: AP

U.S. has announced a $ 32.26 million assistance for humanitarian relief, reconstruction and community stabilization efforts in the violence-hit Central Asian Republic of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

The amount would be directed towards meeting immediate humanitarian needs, providing assistance to displaced and returning families, and also to address the roots of the conflict through community development and conflict mitigation programs in southern Kyrgyz Republic, the U.S. State Department announced on Wednesday.

Expressing deep concern over the current situation in the region, the State Department said it is closely monitoring developments in the Kyrgyz Republic and the affected border regions of Uzbekistan and supports international efforts to facilitate peace and order and the provision of humanitarian assistance coordinated by the United Nations and other international organizations.

As soon as the security situation allows, United States would begin deliveries of medical and other supplies donated by US corporations and charities to the Kyrgyz Republic, the State Department said.

The Administration would also shortly seek Congressional approval for a project to engage civil society, law enforcement and the business community in addressing factors negatively affecting stability in southern Kyrgyz Republic, it said.

“These commitments made in response to the current crisis are in addition to the United States’ ongoing annual assistance programs for Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan designed to achieve long term development goals,” a statement by the State Department said.

The State Department said $ 217,000 in medical and relief supplies were released by the US Embassy in Bishkek and have been delivered to Osh and Jalalabad by the Kyrgyz Ministry of Health.

Another $ 3.65 million has been authorised for immediate expenditure by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) for humanitarian assistance to the region, including the purchase and delivery of medicines, medical supplies, and shelter and hygiene items.

A further $ 5.85 million has also been authorised for community improvement and stabilization projects, including a broad range of community defined projects that may include construction of small scale infrastructure, assistance to improve government operations, job creation, and education for disenfranchised populations.

Also, a $15 million assistance would be provided by USAID for immediate humanitarian relief in southern Kyrgyz Republic and rapid community improvement and stabilization projects throughout the country, the State Department said.

Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, who is travelling to the region, would first visit Fergana Valley to see the humanitarian situation there, before going to Bishkek tomorrow and Saturday.

Earlier in the day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a telephonic conversation with interim Kyrgyzstan President Roza Otunbayeva, during which the two leaders talked about the current situation and immediate and long-term aid requirements, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

“She expressed USA’s condolences regarding the loss of life and injury in Kyrgyzstan,” Mr. Crowley said.

It is humanitarian assistance and US would be identifying, resourcing, and discussing plans for safe distribution of food and supplies, in the process of moving forward, he said.

“But given our understanding of the displacement of people and the unrest there, that we are providing this additional resources through USAID,” Mr. Crowley said.

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