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UNHCR deploying emergency aid to refugees fleeing into Uzbekistan

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UNHCR deploying emergency aid to refugees fleeing into Uzbekistan

14 June 2010 Also available in:

UNHCR is preparing to deploy emergency team and aid to Uzbekistan where thousands of refugees have crossed fleeing violent clashes in Osh and other cities in south Kyrgyzstan.

According to the Uzbek government, more than 75,000 refugees have arrived from Kyrgyzstan since last Friday.

The UN refugee agency offered its assistance to Uzbek authorities who are already dealing with needs of the displaced. The government in Tashkent welcomed humanitarian aid from UNHCR on Monday.

"We are very grateful for the willingness of the Uzbek authorities to welcome and receive people fleeing violence in Kyrgyzstan," said António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. "We have agreed with the Uzbek government to support their efforts and assist tens of thousands, mostly women and children seeking safety in Uzbekistan."

The UNHCR emergency team includes experts on operations, field officers and logistics and is scheduled to deploy immediately. UNHCR is also preparing an airlift from its emergency stockpile in Dubai. This aid will cover the immediate humanitarian needs of some 75,000 people.



The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established on 14 December 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee issues. It strives to ensure that everyone has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state, with the option to voluntarily return home when conditions are conducive for return, integrate locally or resettle to a third country. UNHCR has twice won the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1954 for its ground-breaking work in helping the refugees of Europe, and in 1981 for its worldwide assistance to refugees.