UNHCR airlifts emergency aid for displaced people in South Ossetia
www.chinaview.cn 2008-08-12 05:53:14   Print

    GENEVA, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations refugee agency or UNHCR said on Monday it was mounting an emergency airlift of relief supplies for those displaced in the South Ossetia conflict.

    The first airlift flight, carrying 20,000 blankets and other aid items, is scheduled to fly from UNHCR's central emergency stockpile in Dubai to Georgia overnight Monday, the Geneva-based agency said in a statement.

    A second flight is planned for Wednesday from Copenhagen -- another of the agency's central logistical hubs. Altogether, the two flights will carry humanitarian supplies for up to 30,000 people.

    Meanwhile, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres on Monday approved the release of 2 million U.S. dollars from UNHCR's emergency reserve to cover possible new needs in the region. More staff are also being deployed.

    Guterres also reiterated his earlier call over the weekend for humanitarian access and safe passage for uprooted civilians.

    "Our main concern as UNHCR is with the safety of the civilians, both displaced and non-displaced, and with humanitarian access with the possibility for us to help those in distress -- especially the uprooted," he said.

    "We have mobilized our financial resources and our humanitarian resources. Airlifts are starting with relief items to be able to help people. But we need to be able to get to them," he added.

    Georgian troops began a military action against South Ossetia's forces last week in an attempt to re-establish control over the region. In response, Russian troops moved into the region to fight the Georgian forces.

    Russia said the conflict has killed 1,500 people and the death toll is expected to rise.

Editor: Yan
Related Stories
Home World
  Back to Top