Georgia

Georgia: Humanitarian bulletin no. 2, 22 Jan - 05 Feb 2009

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
1.0 General Humanitarian Overview in Georgia

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), in a press release issued 28 January, called on both Russia and Georgia to allow unhindered and unconditional access for humanitarian organisations and aid to South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It called for a Council of Europe action plan for the people in these two breakaway regions, which could include the establishment of a field presence and ombudsman there to investigate and document human rights violations committed during and in the aftermath of the war. PACE also expressed its concern that the escalation of tensions and provocations along the borders of the break-away regions "could lead to renewed clashes or an outbreak of hostilities", and called on all parties to refrain from any provocative actions.

Correction: The 3W database is not functional online. Please disregard the web address we gave in our first Humanitarian Bulletin. Instead, OCHA will electronically distribute 3W reports. 3W maps are now available. To order maps, contact Kesaria Khubutia, kesaria.khubutia@undp.org.ge.

2.0 Coordination and Humanitarian Response in Georgia

2.1 SHELTER AND NON FOOD ITEMS

Lead Agency: UNHCR

Humanitarian Response & Achievements

UNHCR, with the local government, distributed 250 stoves for IDPs recently arrived in Gori collective centres. In 15 collective centres in Tbilisi, UNHCR distributed 380 mattresses, 463 blankets, 552 pillows, 818 bed linen, 3 kitchen sets, 285 rubber bottles, 174 vacuum flasks, 198 electric heater, and 350 folding beds.

IDPs in the adjacent area are being assigned cottages/warm rooms built by CARE and DRC with funds from UNHCR and EC.

UNHCR distributed 300m3 firewood to 100 old-caseload IDP families in collective centres in Guria and Imereti regions.

2.2 FOOD SECURITY

Lead Agency: WFP, FAO

Humanitarian Response & Achievements

On 5 February, FAO, UNICEF and WFP began a joint food security, nutrition and rural livelihoods assessment of affected populations in the adjacent area. This assessment is conducted in coordination with relevant ministries, local authorities, NGOs, donors and other stakeholders. The results of the assessment will be used for future interventions in the sectors of food security, nutrition and agricultural livelihoods.

The Food Security Cluster continues discussions on the current food security situation of IDPs and future interventions. IDPs in collective centres and settlements still largely depend on food aid. Since food aid will be provided until the end of March, new initiatives will be required to ensure continued assistance.

January distributions of the WFP basic food packages were completed in all functioning collective centres. From mid-January basic food packages were also delivered to new settlements. The targeted populations in the adjacent area have received food from WFP partners, IOCC, CARE, SC and WVI.

FAO and partners are distributing animal feed in the adjacent area villages.

Gaps & Planning

WFP cash transfer scheme, in agreement with MRA (Ministry for Refugees and Accommodation), intends to complement the WFP basic food basket. It will contribute to supplying the additional calories required during winter months. Each person will receive GEL 25 to procure complementary food in local markets. The main donors to this direct cash transfers are USAID and ECHO.

2.3 WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE (WASH)

Lead Agency: UNICEF

Humanitarian Response & Achievements

WASH Cluster partners continue providing supplies to people in new settlements. Oxfam and IRC have completed January distribution of hygiene kits and basic family water kits in 8 settlements in Shida Kartli without in-house WASH facilities.

IRC provided all houses in 8 settlements with material for in-house bathing, while it continues with preparatory works for installation of communal bath facilities. The works are to be completed in the first quarter of 2009.

Oxfam, ACF, AIC and IRC are finalising quick fix repairs of water and sanitation infrastructure in targeted returnee communities in Shida Kartli, as well as in communities adjacent to new settlements and collective centres.

UNICEF carries out assessments in settlements with the special focus on garbage collection and waste disposal. The key problem identified by local authorities is lack of equipment for collecting garbage.

Water and sanitation committees have been established in all targeted settlements and collective centres to take care of cleaning common premises and conducting hygiene promotion amongst children. UNICEF facilitated hygiene promotion training for organisations that operate child-friendly spaces in new settlements and collective centres.

Gaps & Planning

WASH Cluster agencies have adopted the first Advocacy Paper on water, sanitation and hygiene situation. Particular concerns are the water and sanitation situation in some settlements and collective centres and lack of government's longer-term plan to provide durable solutions for the existing problems in accessing water and appropriate sanitation. Key issues are also reflected in the UNCT Advocacy Report.

WASH Cluster with some of the key government counterparts will review its strategy adopted in early autumn of 2008 to identify new priorities and review existing coordination mechanisms in view of the end of the Flash Appeal period.

2.4 LOGISTICS

Lead Agency: WFP

Humanitarian Response & Achievements

WFP's storage facilities and transportation services are available for UN agencies and NGOs. Organisations that are planning distributions are invited to submit their requests for warehouse space and transportation services in advance to better plan and organise warehouse space and transport availability.

UNHCR has distributed non-food items in 25 collective centres in Tbilisi. UNHCR is expecting arrival of non-food items (electric heaters and clothes), which will be stored in WFP's warehouse in Tbilisi for future distribution.

FAO has begun to dispatch 4,200 Mt of animal feed to WFP warehouse in Tbilisi. Distribution started on 26 January. WFP assists with transportation. This joint operation is regulated by WFP/FAO Service Level Agreement signed last December.

Gaps & Planning

Mercy Corps will distribute clothes for 2,500 people in Gori district in the second week of February. WFP assistance with transportation and storage will be required.

ADRA plans to implement a voucher for clothes project for elderly people. WFP transport services will be required to organise mobile stores.

ACF will distribute 12 pallets containing 3,500 hygiene kits and 2,000 new born kits that IRD had made available to the humanitarian community. WFP logistics services will be required for distribution of the kits in Shida Kartli and Kvemo Kartli regions.

2.5 HEALTH

Lead Agency: WHO

Humanitarian Response & Achievements

WHO visited Natakhtari IDP settlement and monitored the work of an ambulance service staffed with the IDP medical personnel from the Kurta Hospital.

Health cluster partners are in the process of elaborating contingency plans to better serve health needs of populations in case of future crises and emergency situations.

In the framework of a joint UNICEF, WFP and UNHCR cash assistance project, UNICEF is providing monthly cash transfer (GEL 70 for complementary food and GEL 30 for hygienic items) to cover the cost for nutritional and hygienic needs of targeted 1,178 children. The cash is transferred to the bank accounts of the targeted IDP families on a monthly basis. The project will last till March. The calculations are made based on the recommended list of the products specially developed by the Georgian Academy of Paediatrics.

CLARITAS XXI examined 52 children and consulted 8 pregnant women in Tbilisi on the issues of infant feeding and care. CLARITAS also assessed child nutritional status and, based on the obtained data, donated micronutrients and Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS). Beneficiaries received Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials with food and non-food items distributed by UMCOR. CLARITAS mobile groups and UMCOR assessed 26 children and 6 pregnant women in Gori and Berbuki village. In addition, the beneficiaries received ORS, micronutrients, IEC materials and humanitarian aid.

UMCOR continues distribution of Breast Milk Substitute (BMS) to IDP/returnee mothers clinically diagnosed as unable to breastfeed, as well as complementary baby food, Ultra-High Temperature Milk and non-food items within the framework of "Promotion of Breastfeeding and Infant and Maternal Nutrition in Georgia" project. To date, UMCOR helped 990 beneficiaries, including 90 pregnant women, 98 infants (0-12 months), 352 infants (12-24 months) and 315 mothers unable to breastfeed, covering all collective centres in Tbilisi. UMCOR also distributes humanitarian aid in new settlements.

Patriarchate and D. Uznadze Institute of Psychology (PIP) carried out mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) activities with a total of 88 internally displaced children (3-14 years old) in Saguramo and Tsinamdzgvriantkari settlements. Parents of the children received consultations. PIP also held 6 self-help group meetings and identified leaders.

Gaps & Planning

Funding remains a major gap for the majority of the Health Cluster partners.

Next week, UMCOR plans to distribute the commodities in new settlements in Gori and Kareli.

2.6 PROTECTION

Lead Agency: UNHCR

Humanitarian Response & Achievements

UNHCR monitored population movements to and from Perevi, Akhalgori and Khurvaleti to Georgian controlled villages. A specific problem was reported for the population movement from and to Khurvaleti. People from Sinagori village can enter Khurvaleti only on emergency cases. For other purposes they can enter through Akhalgori/ Odsizi.

UNHCR also monitored the situation of IDPs integrated locally in 4 new settlements (two buildings in Khashuri and Khurvaleti, and Shavshvebi in Gori district). Main findings include: some families are in need of extra beds; absolute majority seek employment; those with children under 2 years are in need of baby food; PWSN are in need of special assistance.

Monitoring in 14 collective centres in Gori revealed that some 662 individuals/227 families were relocated from Tbilisi. This brings the total number of IDPs in Gori collective centres to 1,062 individuals. Authorities in Khashuri, Kareli and Kaspi districts also expect arrival of IDPs from Tbilisi.

Organisations are responding to the needs of the IDPs that have moved from collective centres in Tbilisi to Gori. Some Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) have resumed their activities. Approximately 80 CFA are functioning or planned to operate soon. Cottages or similar structures are being built to run CFS in those settlements where social spaces are not available (WVI, IRC, TDH, Save the Children).

Textbooks, which were available in stock, were purchased and will be distributed to the Education Resource Centres in the 4 districts in Shida Kartli between the 10th and 20th of February. This is a coordinated effort between UNICEF, IRC, WVI, Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Governments.

UNICEF with UNHCR and WFP distributes cash assistance for purchasing clothes for 3,933 children under 6 years.

The piloting of the Child Protection Referral Procedures to the village level was extended. Referral procedures are being piloted at the city level in 8 sites, one of which is Gori. Through coordination between the Government Commission on Child Welfare and De-institutionalisation, Save the Children, World Vision, UNICEF, Charity Humanitarian Centre Abkhazeti and Terre des Hommes, this effort will now reach 8 sakrebulos in Shida Kartli (Variani, Berbuki, Tiniskhidi, Breti, Dzevera, Tkviavi, Abisi and Mejvrikhevi). Inauguration of the initiative will take place in the coming week.

Since 21 January, NRC mobile teams have visited 9 resettlement areas. Main concern for IDPs is limited availability of water and bathing facilities, as well as garbage containers. In 3 settlements - Khikhani (Marneuli), Poladauri (Bolnisi) and Sakasheti (Gori), there were no IDPs resettled. NRC also visited 17 collective centers in Tbilisi. Major concerns are health related issues. Two cases reported when the IDPs could not obtain medical assistance due to high fee.

UNHCR through its implementing partner IRC is carrying out Protection Monitoring and Referral for Georgian Returnees in eight villages. In last two weeks, general village monitoring updates were made in each village on security, water and sanitation, health, food, child and youth protection, economic development, livelihood. IRC Protection Monitoring staff held two community meetings in Pkhvenisi and Kvemo Nikozi on the common problems for returnees. Due to landmines in certain areas landowners are not able to cultivate their lands. This is a major problem because lands are the only income for these people.

Gaps & Planning

Child Protection and Education sub-cluster is seeking external expertise to conduct an assessment of the Child Friendly Spaces so far implemented and to define key orientations for transition.

Access for children to kindergartens in Gori is a concern because all kindergartens except for two are still used as collective centres for IDPs.

2.7 LIVELIHOOD AND GOVERNANCE

Lead Agency: UNDP

Humanitarian Response & Achievements

Most organisations have completed their assessments and are preparing and/or starting livelihood supporting activities in new settlements. The activities mainly concentrate on income generation projects, such as cash for work, small business grants, support in the provision of livestock, setting up small shops, micro-finance, and vocational education and training. As for small infrastructure rehabilitation projects, particular focus is on water irrigation.

Gaps & Planning

The Cluster members will prepare an overview of activities in settlements. This effort will be coordinated by UNDP.

3.0 Humanitarian Funding

As of 5 February, the total funding directed towards projects in the Flash Appeal stands at $66 million contributed or committed (covering 54.3% of the revised Flash Appeal requirements amounting to $115.7 million). A further $780,660 of uncommitted pledges are reported on the OCHA Financial Tracking Service. A total of $128.9 million humanitarian funding (inside and outside the Flash Appeal) has been reported so far, with a further $4.9 million pledged.

Contributions to this emergency will be continuously registered and updated by OCHA's Financial Tracking Service (FTS) at www.reliefweb.int/fts. Donor countries and recipients may submit information on contributions by sending an e-mail to FTS at fts@reliefweb.int.

4.0 Upcoming Events

17-18 February 2009 Fourth round of Georgia - Russia talks in Geneva

5.0 Contacts

Office of the Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator - Tbilisi Georgia

Ms. Melanie Mason, OCHA Head of Office, Tel: + 995 99 289 003, Email: masonm@un.org

Ms. Knarik Kamalyan, Humanitarian Affairs Officer, Tel: +995 95 335 029, knarik.kamalyan@undp.org.ge

Website: http://relief.migration.ge