Immediate Protection and Humanitarian Access Needed for Conflict-Affected and Displaced Persons in Kyrgyzstan
ACT for Peace
21 June 2010
Act for Peace, member of the International Coalition for RtoP, is also part of the global Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance, which helps communities affected by poverty and conflict in more than 100 countries. The ACT Alliance has called upon the provisional Kyrgyz government to guarantee the safe transportation of life-saving assistance and access for aid workers to avert a humanitarian crisis. ACT is represented in Kyrgyzstan by Christian Aid, DanChurchAid (DCA) and ICCO en KerkinActie, working with local partners.
The situation in southern Kyrgyzstan remains unpredictable and volatile. Tens of thousands of people have been affected by the recent crisis, and it appears that organized campaigns of murder, banditry, rape and forced displacement have been carried out. According to the principles of International Humanitarian Law, the affected population has the right to protection and humanitarian assistance.
Many hundreds have died since the night of 10 June. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced and are now living in makeshift conditions in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Local officials in the south have told the International Crisis Group they fear they cannot guarantee the security of refugees encamped along the Kyrgyz side of the border with Uzbekistan. Preliminary information indicates that the destruction in Osh is widespread, with hundreds of buildings and homes destroyed, and that this is a massive humanitarian crisis.
While the available data provides rough estimates and indicates the need for immediate action, a comprehensive and objective joint needs assessment is required to determine more accurate needs to ensure that those in need of support are covered by the interventions.
Many of those affected are located in isolated and border areas, and have little or no access to food and basic protection. Whilst some humanitarian aid has been made available, distribution has been irregular and has not been able to meet the needs of those affected by the crisis; there also remain concerns over the impartiality of these distributions. (…)
We the undersigned humanitarian agencies call upon the EU/UN to use its offices to work with the provisional government to:
* Focus its full attention on security concerns and the restoration of the rule of law, ensuring urgent and immediate protection of people affected by the crisis, and;
* Develop a secure humanitarian corridor for the provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance, and;
* Ensure that humanitarian assistance is provided impartially and solely on the basis of need, by agencies that are viewed by the affected population as impartial and independent; and
* Work towards achieving a long-term solution to the humanitarian issues that have resulted from the crisis in southern Kyrgyzstan.
Signed by ACT Alliance, a coalition of 100 church-related humanitarian and development organizations working in 130 countries worldwide. :
John Nduna, ACT Alliance General Secretary
Jan van Doggenaar, ICCO & Kerk in Actie International Programme Director
Henrik Stubkjær, Dan Church Aid General Secretary
Paul Valentin, Christian Aid International Director
Click here to see the press release from Act for Peace that accompanied their statement.