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More aid pledged for freezing earthquake victims in Kyrgyzstan, UN reports

More aid pledged for freezing earthquake victims in Kyrgyzstan, UN reports

The international community is stepping up its efforts to rush winterized tents to Kyrgyzstan for nearly 5,500 people displaced in New Year’s Day earthquakes and now living in summer tents under temperatures ranging from -15 to -20 degrees Celsius, the United Nations reported today.

“The response to the Government’s appeal has been outstanding,” the head of the Dubai regional bureau for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA),

Abdul Haq Amiri, said. “Everybody has played their part, and as a result the most pressing needs to protect the affected population against the harsh winter conditions have been met.”

The United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) today pledged over 400 winterized tents, and they are expected to be dispatched from the United Arab Emirates on Friday, OCHA reported.

The Governments of Sweden, Norway, Austria, Slovakia and Bulgaria have already provided 275 winterized tents, which are currently being distributed, after the Ministry of Emergency Situations appealed for more than 670 such tents.

Reports from the field indicate that there are outstanding needs for food and non-food items, including 3,500 winter jackets and trousers, 2.25 tonnes of rice and 3,000 litres of oil. A UN mission is on the ground to carry out assessment and monitoring.

On 1 January, three separate earthquakes occurred in an isolated area some 30 kilometres from the southern city of Osh, causing severe damage to housing and infrastructure. According to Kyrgyz officials, over 960 families were displaced and the deteriorating weather conditions are making their situation even more precarious.