UN to Raise Aid Package for Kyrgyzstan

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- The United Nations appealed Monday for an emergency aid package to help the impoverished Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan survive energy shortages.

A power crisis in Kyrgyzstan has raised concerns about stability in the country, where the opposition has threatened to protest protests against President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's policies.

The UN appealed for $20 million in emergency aid, which, if fully funded, would provide food, shelter and additional water supplies as well as backup power for hospitals in the mountainous nation of 5 million.

"Soaring food and fuel prices, adverse weather conditions and declining remittances further limited the purchasing power of the most vulnerable and contributed to a precarious food security situation for some," the UN said.