Kyrgyzstan: UN agency provides tents to families displaced by deadly quake

29 July 2011

The United Nations refugee agency has provided 250 family-sized tents to house about 2,000 people left homeless in south-western Kyrgyzstan after last week’s deadly earthquake on the country’s border with Uzbekistan.

The lightweight tents have been distributed to people living in the provinces of Batken and Osh, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported today.

At least 13 people were reportedly killed in Uzbekistan and 15 others were seriously injured as a result of the quake on 20 July, which measured 8 on the open-ended Richter scale, UNHCR said. About 200 houses were also destroyed.

The quake struck an area ravaged by inter-ethnic violence last year that had already left tens of thousands of people displaced. UNHCR had been working to help some of those people rebuild their lives.

UNHCR’s acting representative in Kyrgyzstan, Mahir Safarti, said the tents would help local families “to overcome the consequences of the earthquake.”

Mr. Safarti said the agency would work with the Kyrgyz Government on an emergency preparedness programme as a result of the quake.


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