The Atlas Economic Research Foundation is currently raising awareness and inviting support for the Central Asian Free Market Institute’s (CAFMI) “I want Peace in Kyrgyzstan” campaign. 

        “For me personally this is not only a fight for life.  It is a fight for freedom…We want peace, we want freedom, and we want a lawful government,” Director Namazalie stated. CAFMI was founded by Mirsulzhan Namazalie and his fellow Cato alum Seyitbek Usmanoc. In addition to  the “I Want Peace in Kyrgyzstan” campaign, the two coordinate  the CAFMI’s volunteers in Kyrgyzstan who work to “to solicit, gather, and deliver humanitarian assistance.” The vast majority of the support goes to women and their children, since men are predominantly away from their homes fighting. These women and children have been driven out of their homes and are crowding in Uzbek refugee camps. 

        Atlas’s Tom Palmer points out that the number of refugees is vast and growing – in this past month alone, “between 80,000 and 10,000 people were made refugees”.  UNICEF spokeswoman Savita Naqvi also noted  that the majority of the refugees are indeed women and their children.

        This past weekend, Clifford Levy published a piece in the NY Times discussing the hardship faced  by these refugees.  According to Levy’s research, roughly half of the refugees are children, of which five percent are babies. UNICEF has also reported that 2,000 of the women in the camps are breastfeeding. One refugee woman asked, “Why doesn’t the government say ‘Please return, we will help you, we will provide for you, we will make sure that you are safe.’ But they don’t do that.” Good thing Atlas and CAFMI are answering her and many others’ calls for help.