Following an increase in the number of military incidents in early August 2008, the situation in the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia escalated in the early hours of 8 August into open hostilities. The situation deteriorated further with renewed fighting in the Georgian breakaway province of Abkhazia, as well as fighting in other parts of Georgia, in particular in and around the city of Gori. Although no verifiable tally of casualties has yet been made, hundreds of people have reportedly been killed and wounded.
The fighting led to both internal and external displacement of large numbers of people. Due to problems for humanitarian organisations in accessing part of the affected area, in particular South Ossetia, and the rapid manner in which this crisis is unfolding, precise data regarding the number of people who have been displaced and where they are located is hard to establish. Based on the number of people registered by the Georgian authorities, approximately 128,700 people have been displaced in Georgia, of whom 30,000 within the South Ossetia region. For the purposes of this appeal, a planning figure of 128,700 displaced persons within the whole of Georgia is being used. This figure does not include the estimated 30,000 people believed to have sought refuge in North Ossetia, Russian Federation.
This conflict has greatly impacted the civilian population and has put great strain on the capacities of the Government and humanitarian organisations to respond. Georgia was already a country with some 220,000 displaced persons from previous conflicts in the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Most of those displaced by the current fighting are located in and around the capital, Tbilisi, residing in collective centres that were established for the previously existing caseload, or in new, rapidly established sites. This multiplication of sites for displaced people presents both government and aid agencies with difficulties in locating them, identifying their needs, and ensuring that aid is delivered. Further complicating the assessment of needs and delivery of assistance is the presence of Russian military forces around several towns in Georgia, particularly Gori, along the main east-west transport link; this severely limits access to populations in the west and northwest.
Despite these difficulties, the humanitarian response has been well-coordinated by both the governments of Georgia and the Russian Federation, together with international agencies. The response in Georgia proper was rapidly organised through a Humanitarian Coordination Group, comprising United Nations Agencies, international organisations, NGOs, Government and donor representatives. Using in-country stocks, relief supplies have been delivered mainly to the affected populations in and around Tbilisi. The Russian Federation has taken full responsibility for assisting those in need arriving across the border. Although there have been, and continue to be, difficulties in assessing humanitarian needs, priorities during this acute phase of the emergency are identified as food; health and nutrition; protection; shelter and non-food items; water, sanitation and hygiene, and logistics and telecommunications. However, it quickly became clear that the crisis went beyond any single agency's ability to respond effectively.
Working in close collaboration with the Georgian Government, and following best practices in humanitarian coordination, the Humanitarian Coordination Group (HCG), under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator, has prepared this flash appeal to cover the identified and estimated needs of a projected caseload of 128,700 persons for a six-month planning horizon. As such, it prioritises immediate life-saving activities in the six sectors above, plus a seventh sector of coordination and support services. Whilst the most acute phase of the violence may have passed, without a political resolution the humanitarian situation remains critical and volatile. This initial flash appeal is thus a snapshot which will be revised in the coming weeks as the trajectory of the crisis and humanitarian needs become clearer and the division of labour in humanitarian response crystallises. Moreover, as the situation evolves, the need for other types of humanitarian assistance such as mine action and early recovery will become clearer.
In close coordination with the Georgian Government, the UN system, participating non-governmental organisations and other partners, this Flash Appeal seeks US$(1) 58,553,319 for activities within a planning horizon of six months. As the crisis evolves, a CERF application may be considered. The appeal includes 41 NGO projects, 24 UN projects, and two projects of the International Organisation for Migration.
(1) All dollar signs in this document denote United States dollars. Funding for this appeal should be reported to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS, email@example.com), which will display its requirements and funding on the CAP 2008 page.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Table I. Summary of Requirements – By Sector
Table II. Summary of Requirements – By Organisation
2. CONTEXT AND HUMANITARIAN CONSEQUENCES
2.1 CONTEXT AND RESPONSE TO DATE
2.2 HUMANITARIAN CONSEQUENCES AND NEEDS ANALYSIS
3. RESPONSE PLANS
3.1 FOOD AID
3.2 HEALTH AND NUTRITION
3.3 LOGISTICS AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
3.5 SHELTER AND NFIs
3.6 WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE (WASH)
3.7 COORDINATION & SUPPORT SERVICES
3.8 EARLY RECOVERY
4. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Table III. List of Projects – (grouped by Sector)
Table IV. List of Projects – (grouped by appealing organisation)
Table V. Summary of Requirements – By IASC Sector
ANNEX I. ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
Please note that appeals are revised regularly. The latest version of this document is available on http://www.humanitarianappeal.net
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