Kyrgyzstan: “We want peace”

It’s not good to have to rely on handouts, Zamira told me when I met her in a makeshift shelter in Osh, Kyrgyzstan.

But the 69-year-old grandmother and her family — like thousands of others — have no choice now.

Many of the people I have met during my visits to camps around the city have been left with nothing.

“We don’t have anything with us, [not] even one Som [about 1.5p],” one woman said.

When she and her 13-year-old son, Sirojidin, fled to safety he didn’t even have time to get dressed properly.

Today Save the Children delivered blankets, nappies and water containers to hundreds of families whose homes were destroyed in the violence, and distributed food, like wheat and oil, to thousands more.

Very soon we will be setting up child-friendly spaces where children can play and begin to recover from the horrendous violence they have witnessed.

It will make a change from playing in the dust, or collecting bullet casings from the ruins of their home, as my colleagues have seen them do.

Global media coverage of the crisis is fading, threatening to make people forget about the needs of children and families here, but we will not forget them.

In the weeks and months to come we will continue to support vulnerable children and families so that they can rebuild their homes, re-start their businesses and get on with their lives. We will also work with communities to help them build lasting peace.

“We’re not concerned about food,” a man at a camp where displaced families only get one meal a day told me the other day: “We want peace”.

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