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Estonia helps with Central Asia humanitarian work

  • 2014-01-15
  • From wire reports, TALLINN

Estonia is helping to alleviate the humanitarian situation of the residents of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Myanmar via the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasized the central role of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in coordinating the work of the UN sub-organizations and receiving international aid when resolving worldwide humanitarian crises.

"Estonia considers important the continued improvement of the UN humanitarian aid related activity and a quick response in emergency situations. OCHA's activity is very important in ensuring a single and effective response during humanitarian disasters and providing quick and efficient assistance to people in need that are in a very complicated and vulnerable situation," Foreign Minister Paet said.

This year, Estonia plans to join the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Donor Support Group.

The Foreign Ministry helps to alleviate the humanitarian situation in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan via OCHA Regional Office for the Caucasus and Central Asia. The region is very vulnerable to various crises and disasters. Climate changes, food and energy problems, national and ethnic tensions pose a risk to the vulnerable communities in the region.

OCHA is involved in increasing the capability to respond to disasters in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and also the prevention of conflicts. The region is also influenced by the developments in Afghanistan and risks that originate from there.

The Foreign Ministry supports improving the humanitarian situation in Myanmar via the OCHA Myanmar office. Internal conflicts between different ethnic groups and the army in border areas have lasted for decades. There is a large number of internally displaced people in the country. Myanmar is also very vulnerable to natural disasters. According to OCHA Myanmar office, around one million people are currently in need of humanitarian aid.