Today was the first official day back to work in Osh. Traffic was light, but heavy by recent standards. The purple public busses carried commuters instead of soldiers around the city. Motorists even stopped at traffic signals, and checkpoints allowed most cars to pass unquestioned. Some barricades around Nariman have been removed opening more of the city to traffic
We see more smiles among the larger, but still sparse, crowds. However the unease was still there. We witnessed a sharp exchange between Kyrgyz and an Uzbek outside the mayor’s office. An official said he felt starting a program should wait until after the planned June 27 referendum on constitutional changes.
Save the Children delivered 300 health and hygiene kits today. Uzbeks sheltering in and living near a school in Nariman received 150 kits, and another 150 were distributed in Charumushka. To date, we have reached 5,000 people with health and hygiene supplies. We also are conducting needs assessments and administering 6-page questionnaires — and sharing the results with the Ministry of Emergency Situations.
Meetings were held in Osh to plan child protection centers based in schools. Attending were a range of officials and professionals, including the chief of the department of Family and Children’s Support, the Vice Mayor of Osh, the president’s special representative on children’s security and protection, the president’s special representative on the distribution of humanitarian aid, the head of education and the head of the Osh Children’s Home.
Save the Children will engage in planning school-based child protection. This will include providing supplies as well as supporting reconciliation and counseling.