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ICRC: humanitarian crisis S. Kyrgyzstan seems far from over.

ICRC's head of operations for Eastern Europe and

Central Asia Pascale Meige Wagner said on Friday that the humanitarian crisis

in southern Kyrgyzstan seems far from over, assuring that ICRC stands ready to

respond to all potential humanitarian needs. "We do not see any signs of the imminent return of the tens of thousands of

persons who have been displaced," Wagner said in a press release. The ICRC has started distributing water and food in response to the urgent

needs of tens of thousands of internally displaced persons. Since yesterday,

the ICRC has distributed 12,000 litres of water to about 15,000 people

gathered in Sura Tash. "Although a state of relative calm has prevailed over the last two days,

the situation remains tense and worrying, and not only in southern

Kyrgyzstan", said Wagner. "There are no words to describe the reception given to the water trucks.

People here had spent more than three days without access to drinkable water.

The distribution of water will be increased and extended to other areas in the

coming days," said Angelina Adler, a water engineer with the ICRC. In Uzbekistan, an ICRC team together with the Uzbek Red Crescent, first on

the scene, has begun to assess the needs of over 100,000 refugees who have

gathered in Andijan, Fergana and Namangan, close to the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border. "The people who crossed the border, most of them women and children, need

sanitary and hygiene materials in addition to food and shelter. Many people

also said that they had difficulties in contacting loved ones who had remained

in Kyrgyzstan," said Kapil Sharma, an ICRC doctor in Andijan. He was also able

to start assessing the situation of the wounded in medical facilities. Besides continuing to aid the refugees, the ICRC is also working on

restoring communication between families separated by the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border.

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Date:Jun 18, 2010
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