Christian Relief Group: Kyrgyzstan in Turmoil

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By Aaron J. Leichman, Christian Post Reporter
July 28, 2010|11:56 pm

The implications of last month’s civil conflict in Kyrgyzstan are still experienced by the communities and humanitarian organizations there alike, reported a faith-based non-profit working in the Turkic state.

“Although violent clashes stopped long ago, the scars are hard to eradicate,” DanChurchAid (DCA) stated in its most recent report on the country's situation.

“The communities are living under a fear psychosis,” it added. “The conflict has impacted the lives of over 375,000 people, and they need support to rebuild their lives almost from scratch.”

For around two weeks, deadly rampages had gripped southern Kyrgyzstan, set off by the torching of homes and businesses in ethnic Uzbek neighborhoods by mobs of ethnic Kyrgyz on June 10.

According to the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR), an estimated 200,000 people were displaced within Kyrgyzstan and up to 100,000 fled across the border to Uzbekistan. Hundreds of homes, meanwhile, were destroyed, forcing thousands to live in makeshift conditions.

Since then, DCA reported “serious polarization” between Uzbek and Kyrgyz communities, the latter of which also suffered damages and losses.

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“There is an absolute lack of trust. Co-existence is on the verge of peril. This division is a serious impediment in the relief, recovery and reconstruction efforts,” the humanitarian group reported.

Aside from the division, DCA said other issues facing the people in Kyrgyzstan’s affected areas include, among others, separation of family members, sanitation and hygiene in IDP camps, and the public health system, which DCA said “has largely become dysfunctional in this situation.”

The group also said massive rubble is posing a “serious threat” - as there is apparently no plan so far for proper rubble removal - and that shelter would be a “huge problem” in the absence of a clear cut shelter policy from the government.

“No compensation has been declared so far and the affected families hardly have their own means to reconstruct,” DCA reported. “The approaching winter will be extremely tough for them.”

In its report, DCA said there was an “urgent need” to address the situation in Kyrgyzstan but added no other recommendations.

Since the conflict in Kyrgyzstan broke out on June 10, DanChurchAid has been in regular contact with partner organizations in the southern regions and responding to the crisis through long-term development programs.

DCA Regional Representative Tatiana Kotova, meanwhile, was most recently on the ground together with Aprodev Communication Officer Martin Schuster and ACT Alliance Humanitarian Program Advisor Sudhanshu S. Singh.

Observations from the team’s latest round of assessments during July 13-14 were included in DCA’s latest report.

Established in 1922, DanChurchAid (DCA) is a faith-based and ecumenical, “non-missionary” organization rooted in the Danish National Evangelical Lutheran Church.

The major Danish humanitarian non-governmental organization (NGO) says it works with local partners, international networks, churches and non-religious civil organizations to assist the poorest of the poor.

 

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