UN and partners step up emergency medical aid after ethnic violence in

A senior UN delegation led by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Central Asia, Miroslav Jenča, yesterday visited the southern city of Osh, one of the main venues for fighting earlier this month.Following the UN visit, the Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the situation appears to have improved but security risks remain high, particularly at night. UN agencies and partners have been able to distribute food throughout the city, and there are signs of some public transport working and some businesses functioning.Two emergency health kits from the UN World Health Organization (WHO) are due to arrive in Osh today. The kits will cover the basic health needs of 60,000 people over the course of a month.The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) trucked health supplies to the area overnight, distributing them to hospitals and sites with internally displaced persons (IDP) which number some 300,000 in the Jalalabad Province and neighbouring areas.An additional 100,000 refugees are believed to have fled to Uzbekistan. OCHA said many new refugees are arriving in camps, even though they crossed the border several days ago.Meanwhile, some 35,000 ethnic Uzbeks are heading back to their homes in Kyrgyzstan, according to figures released by the Kyrgyz Border Guards Service.The UN has issued a $71 million flash appeal to cover the urgent needs for shelter, food, water and medicines in Kyrgyzstan. A similar appeal to cover the needs of refugees in Uzbekistan is due to be launched soon.In addition to tensions in the south, northern Kyrgyzstan is tense amid concerns of possible violence connected to the constitutional referendum planned for this Sunday. 23 June 2010The United Nations and its humanitarian partners are stepping up emergency medical aid in Kyrgyzstan, where the UN warned of a larger and more intractable crisis unless relative calm is maintained and reconciliation efforts begin soon after recent ethnic violence targeting Uzbeks.