As winter nears in Kyrgyzstan, UN aid officials voice fears on living conditions

18 November 2008

United Nations humanitarian officials are voicing concern for an estimated 700,000 people in Kyrgyzstan, with many lacking decent shelter and facilities as the often bitter Central Asian winter approaches.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that the hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people in Kyrgyzstan include 580,000 people classed as food insecure and 250,000 people at risk because of electricity and water shortages.

Central Asian winters can be extremely harsh, particularly in the mountainous regions of southern Kyrgyzstan, which were also hit early last month by a deadly earthquake.

OCHA said UN agencies and their non-governmental organization (NGO) partners are working together to complement Kyrgyz Government efforts to devise a winter response plan to ensure minimum standards of basic services throughout the winter season. The response plan requires some $18 million to be put into practice.


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