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WFP Food Assistance Crosses Border From Uzbekistan to Kyrgyzstan

OSH, Kyrgyzstan – The United Nations World Food Programme is continuing daily distributions of assistance in southern Kyrgyzstan with supplies boosted by the arrival of a convoy of trucks from neighbouring Uzbekistan carrying UN humanitarian relief for victims of ethnic violence.

•    WFP distributed rations today (Thursday) to 6,300 people in the central market area of Osh as part of a programme of daily food distributions. WFP staff members reported the market was open and crowded, with signs that life is beginning to return to normal.

•    The 28-truck convoy which crossed into Kyrgyzstan yesterday was met on the Kyrgyz side by the High Commissioner of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, Antonio Guterres, and WFP Regional Director for the Middle East and Central Asia, Daly Belgasmi. It included 12 vehicles carrying supplies for UNHCR and eight with assistance from the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF.

•    Eight trucks were loaded with 150 metric tons of wheat flour, vegetable oil, pulses and beans for the World Food Programme (WFP), which so far has provided food assistance to 270,000 people affected by the violence.

•    The WFP trucks have been offloaded at a WFP warehouse in Osh and the food will be distributed to internally displaced people, returnee refugees and others affected by the violence from both the Kyrgyz and Uzbek communities in Osh.

•    WFP has so far provided some 970 metric tons of wheat flour, vegetable oil and fortified High Energy Biscuits to 270,000 people in Osh since the outbreak of violence on 10 June. Distributions to some 15,000 people in Jalal-Abad are planned over the coming days.

•    As part of a joint UN fundraising effort, WFP has appealed for around US$23 million to provide emergency food rations to more than half a million people in Kyrgyzstan. 

•    After the violence erupted in the southern Kyrgyz towns of Osh and Jalal-Abad, some 75,000 ethnic Uzbeks fled across the border to the city of Andizhan in Uzbekistan. Almost all have now returned, but many are staying in camps or with host families, as their houses have been destroyed.