UN Refugee Agency provides clothing to over 26,500 socially vulnerable people in Kyrgyzstan
Bishkek, May 18 / Kabar/. Delivery of almost 30 tonnes of clothes is marked by a handover in Bishkek involving the Japanese Embassy, the Ministry of Social Protection and UNHCR.
Bearing in mind the difficult social conditions faced by vulnerable people in Kyrgyzstan, UNHCR will provide over 65,000 items of clothing through 84 social institutions, hospitals and orphanages in Bishkek, and Chui, Jalalabad, Osh and Batken provinces. The recipients of UNHCR’s delivery of clothing for humanitarian purposes are solely based on needs and are determined in close consultation with government, civil society and the people themselves.
UNHCR assessments and Ministry of Social Protection partners revealed that formerly displaced families, refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, and socially vulnerable people were still in need of non-food items, and clothing in particular. Japanese retail company, UNIQLO, promptly responded to these humanitarian needs by providing in-kind donations of clothing to the UNHCR operation in Kyrgyzstan, with the support of the Japanese Embassy.
During the hand-over of necessary clothing, the Japanese Ambassador, Mr. Shin Maruo, ,mentioning the Japanese contribution through UNHCR for the victims of the interethnic clashed in June 2010, expressed his pleasure that the cooperation between UHNCR and Japan including its government as well as the private companies has actively developed in Kyrgyzstan.
UNHCR Representative in Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Johann Siffointe said: 'Appropriate clothing is important for people in need to live and sustain their dignity. This is often an aspect of humanitarian aid which is ignored by organizations and donors. We are deeply grateful to UNIQLO for this donation, worth almost $200,000 USD, which fills an important gap in the aid provided to UNHCR's persons of concern.'
The Head of the Social Provision Department within the Ministry of Social Protection, Mrs. Marina Zhaparkulova, also mentioned the importance and value of these clothes to better the lives of vulnerable persons within Kyrgyzstan. On behalf of those receiving necessary clothes, Mrs. Apsamatova Bayan, Head of the Refugee Reception Centre, expressed gratitude to the people of Japan, UNIQLO, the Ministry of Social Protection and UNHCR.
2012 is the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Kyrgyz Republic. In the aftermath of the June 2010 conflict, the Government of Japan generously provided $7 million dollars to UNHCR allowing the agency to provide emergency shelters to all those who lost their homes in the violence, provide legal documentation to safeguard the rights of affected persons and hold confidence building community activities in South Kyrgyzstan, amongst others.
In 2010, UNHCR distributed some 155,000 items of clothing, donated by UNIQLO to some 22,000 people affected by June violence as well as 30,000 to social institutions. For over 15 years UNHCR has actively cooperated with the Government of Kyrgyzstan assisting refugees, internally displaced persons, stateless people as well as socially vulnerable people.