News Stories, 29 July 2011
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, July 29 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency has provided 250 family tents to house an estimated 2,000 people left homeless in Kyrgyzstan by last week's earthquake on the border with Uzbekistan.
The lightweight tents were distributed last Friday to people living in Batken and Osh provinces.
News reports have said some 200 houses were destroyed in these provinces by the quake, which measured eight on the open ended Richter scale. It left at least 13 people dead in Uzbekistan and 15 seriously injured in Kyrgyzstan.
Mahir Safarli, UNHCR's acting representative in Kyrgyzstan, said the tents would help some 300 families "to overcome the consequences of the earthquake." He added that the refugee agency would continue working with the Kyrgyz government on an emergency preparedness programme.
UNHCR donated the tents as part of an inter-agency response closely coordinated with the government, which is providing assistance and relief on the ground.
Some of the areas affected by the earthquake had been ravaged by violence last year that left tens of thousands of people displaced. UNHCR is involved in confidence building measures aimed at keeping the peace there.