European Union brings relief to victims of Kyrgyzstan earthquakes


BISHKEK (TCA) — The European Commission on May 26 said it is making available close to € 165,000 (over 12 million KGS) to provide emergency assistance to families most affected by two powerful earthquakes which struck Kyrgyzstan in early May. The aid will directly benefit 2 750 people in one of the heavily-hit districts of Chon Alai in the southern Osh region.

This EU funding supports the Red Crescent Society of Kyrgyzstan (RCSK) in delivering much-needed humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable populations, including the distribution of essential relief items, such as blankets, kitchen sets, and hygiene kits. In addition, cash grants are also being provided to enable impacted families to prioritise and address their immediate needs.

This funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

A strong 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck northern Tajikistan near the border with Kyrgyzstan at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres on 3 May, followed by another 5.8-magnitude tremor on 5 May in the same area. While there were no reports of casualties, the earthquakes left a trail of destruction in many villages in Kyrgyzstan’s border regions of Osh and Batken. In Osh region, more than 500 houses in the most affected villages of Kara-Myk, Jekendi, Kara-Teyit, Chuluk, and Shibee were destroyed and over 200 others sustained major damages, leaving as many as 5 000 people in need of assistance.

With the epicentres locating only some 190 kilometres away from the country’s second largest city of Osh, the tremors also caused severe structural damages to houses, health centres, schools and infrastructures. In addition, some 100 livestock, a main source of livelihoods for many families, are reported to have perished as a result of the events.

Sergey Kwan