Kyrgyzstan: UN helps 3,000 quake victims living in sub-zero temperatures

7 January 2008

United Nations agencies are providing emergency supplies, including heating, for some 3,000 people who were displaced in a New Year’s Day earthquake in southern Kyrgyzstan and are now living in summer tents under outside temperatures ranging from -15 to -20 degrees Celsius.

In support of Government assistance to the victims, the agencies have offered over 200 mattresses, 200 sleeping bags, 400 blankets, nearly 500 kitchen sets, almost 2,000 pieces of soap, shoes for over 700 children, nearly 450 children’s winter sweaters and 20 bails of clothing, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today.

As the country is short on winterized tents, heating oil and fuel, crucial for supporting the affected persons, OCHA offered over $30,000 for the purchase of additional heating devices as well as petrol to transport the relief items.

Unfortunately, the heating devices might need to be brought from outside the country as those available in Kyrgyzstan are not suitable for distribution in the affected area near the city of Osh. OCHA has secured 120 winterized tents, donated by the Norwegian Government, and these should be dispatched shortly from the UN warehouse in Brindisi, Italy.

Currently, winter tents and heaters still remain priority needs. The Kyrgyz Government has requested 500 winterised tents, 500 charcoal stoves, 2,500 warm jackets, 1,000 adult winter footwear, 22 tonnes flour, 3,000 litres of cooking oil, over 11,000 cans of meat, 4.5 tonnes of sugar, 2.25 tonnes of spaghetti, and 150 kilos each of rice and tea, OCHA said.

The Government has also requested nearly 4 tonnes of construction materials such as cement, roofing slate, bricks and paint.

 

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