UNESCO stands ready to provide help to Kyrgyzstan
The Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova has assured Kyrgyz authorities that the Organization stands ready to provide all possible help to the people of Kyrgyzstan, in the wake of the recent unrest in the Central Asian nation.
At a meeting with the Director-General on 24 June, Jyrgalbek Azylov, Ambassador of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan to UNESCO, described the extent of the destruction of social, educational and cultural infrastructure and sites, and the human suffering that has resulted from the recent violence. He stressed that schools can re-open on 1 September, in a little over two months, only if emergency action is undertaken to ensure that facilities can cope with the number of children. This entails, he said, the reconstruction of schools and support to allow families to resume their normal lives. He estimated it would take five years to rebuild the social and cultural fabric of the country and stressed the importance of rebuilding tolerance and dialogue between the cultures of the region.
The Director-General expressed UNESCO’s concern over events there. She underscored the need, in an initial phase, to implement programmes and projects foreseen in the region for 2010-2011. “All further UNESCO-specific projects will be developed in partnership with concerned Kyrgyz national authorities and the UNESCO Central Asian offices in Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Tashkent (Uzbekistan),” she said.
Finally, Irina Bokova recalled that appeals for funding, as well as the coordination of the humanitarian response would be made through the UN system-wide flash appeal.
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