OCHA-Georgia Information Bulletin for the period 21-31 Aug 2000
Like other agencies working with the refugees from Chechnya, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (the International Federation) has temporarily scaled back its activities in the Pankisi Valley due to the security incident that took place on 4 August 2000. Two delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and their Georgian Colleague were abducted in the Pankisi Valley and held until 13 August.
In the period from April to June 2000 however, the International Federation in cooperation with the Georgia Red Cross Society (GRCS) implemented a number of activities to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees located in the Pankisi Valley. The International Federation distributed essential medicines and medical supplies to the Duisi and Jokolo ambulatories, and Akhmeta hospital. Medical distributions to the Akhmeta Hospital were based on a consumption analysis carried out by the International Federation. Following case management training, conducted by the International Federation's Health Department for local health personnel, the use of drugs substantially decreased. The International Federation also supported the Akhmeta hospital with food for its patients. Per standard operation procedures a GRCS doctor monitored activities at the ambulatories and the hospital.
During the period of April-July 2000, 20 refugees were provided with transportation from the Pankisi Valley to the Akhmeta hospital by local ambulance vehicles. Diesel for the vehicles was provided by the International Federation. The ambulances also made 206 home visits to refugees.
Within the framework of a Mother and Child Health Component, the maternity house in Akhmeta was provided with medicines and medical supplies on a regular basis. A system for growth monitoring among children between 0 and 5 years was established in the out-patient clinic. Pregnant women were provided with transportation from the Pankisi Valley to Akhmeta hospital.
In order to monitor the nutritional status in the Pankisi Valley, a nutritional survey of Chechen refugees and the local population living in the Pankisi Valley was updated in July. The survey involved recording anthropometric measurements of a random sample of children between 6 months and 5 years, living in the region. The local health personnel were trained to collect the required data. The survey's results and report should be available shortly.
As part of an effort to provide case management training for local health personnel, GRCS medical personnel also collected weekly and monthly reports from in-and-out patient clinics. Epidemiological analysis of morbidity data have been made on a monthly basis by the International Federation and used to alert staff and counterpart agencies to developing health problems.
The International Federation is also implemented a public health information campaign for the refugees and local population by printing and disseminating health educational materials on gastroenteritis, ischaemic heart disease, acute respiratory infection and hypertension.
CARE Activities in Western Georgia
CARE International in the Caucasus is implementing a project entitled Community Action for Shelter and Social Infrastructure Needs (CASSIN). This project is being implemented throughout the regions of Imereti, Samegrelo and Guria. The project is a part of the Georgia Assistance Initiative (GAI), funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and managed by Save the Children. It started in December 1999 and is expected to last until May 2001.
The overall goal of CASSIN is to reduce the suffering of vulnerable populations affected by the conflict in Abkhazia and to strengthen the capacity of local authorities and communities to effectively contribute toward the development of civil society. The project envisages achieving these goals through the rehabilitation of shelter and basic support services such as water, sanitation and electricity. The project will benefit 4,000 IDPs in 1,000 households. In addition, the rehabilitation of social infrastructure services will benefit 160,000 vulnerable residents including IDPs and the general population.
The CASSIN project also expects to promote significant participation in planning, implementation and cost sharing of primary repairs within IDP shelters, as well as in the development of subsequent "micro-projects" to address social infrastructure needs within IDP and other vulnerable households. It will achieve an immediate impact on the quality of life of participants obtaining more secure shelter and access to basic utilities and other social services. In addition, skills building of local authorities and community residents will later be applied toward maintenance activities as well as future community development initiatives within the GAI target area.
Peace Summer Camp in Bulgaria
From 28 July to 20 August, children from Georgian, Abkhazian and South Ossetian backgrounds were brought together for a Peace Summer Camp in Bulgaria. The Peace Summer Camp is a project of several NGOs from the conflict zones of Georgia that has been ongoing for 5 years under the umbrella of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV). This summer participants of the peace camp were selected by the editorial board of the children's magazine "White Crane", the IDP Women's Association, the Centre for Humanitarian Programmes in Sukhumi and the Palace of Children's Art in Tskhinvali.
During their stay together in Bulgaria the children were joined by kids from Crimia, Moldavia and Bulgaria. Together the youth participated in trainings on confidence building and the development of skills for intercultural dialogue. The Bulgarian Centre for Open Education provided trainers and psychologists.
Financial support for the project was provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNV and from the IDP Women Association with support from the Swiss Red Cross.
On 22 August 2000, in the Conference Hall of the UN House, a presentation was held regarding the summer camp, at which time participants shared their impressions with attendees. All participants wrote letters to the "White Crane" which will be published in the next issue. The children were given certificates from the international peace camp.
For detailed information about the summer camp, please contact Ms. Julia Kharashvili, UNV Community Facilitator, tel.: 25 11 26, 99 85 58. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
On 17 August 2000, the United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR), along with the Minister of Agriculture and Food held a ceremony for the opening of the Gombori Water Service System constructed by UMCOR. UMCOR has worked for the past year with the local community on the design and construction of 12 kilometers of water pipes to bring drinking water to the villages of Gombori and Verna for the first time. Funding for the project was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's Monetization program. The opening ceremony was attended by H.E. David Kirvalidze, Minister of Agriculture and Food, Mr. Sam Dixon, Assistant General Secretary of UMCOR, local officials, and representatives from mass media.
The Community Development Centre (CDC) has been implementing programmes for vulnerable populations since 1998. The Centre has implemented projects aimed at improving access to healthcare services for IDPs. The Centre implements its projects based on community participation principles.
Presently, the Centre, with financial support from OXFAM, is implementing a project entitled "Provision of healthcare services for IDPs in Georgia." The project is being implemented in Tbilisi, Zugdidi and in four collective centres in Zugdidi district. It envisages the provision of information to IDPs regarding their rights in the healthcare sector, trainings, and the detection of different prevalent diseases in collective centers,
Interested organisations and individuals can call the Community Development Centre in Tbilisi at the following number: 33 07 79, or in Zugdidi at: 2 33 01.
On 5 September 2000, - the third micro-credit coordination meeting for Imereti is scheduled in Kutaisi, at the Imereti NGO House on 94 Tsereteli St. Participation is open to agencies working on micro-credit programmes. The agenda consists of discussion regarding the "Booklet on Microfinance Organisations and Legal Issues".
For more information, please contact Mr. Paata Tsotsonava, Danish Refugee Council. Tel.: 7 42 26.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.