Georgia

Georgia: Humanitarian bulletin no. 3, 05 - 19 Feb 2009

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

The EU International Fact-finding Commission on the Conflict in Georgia has begun the investigation of the origins and root causes of the August 2008 conflict. The Commission consists of a team of wide-ranging experts and is led by Ambassador Ms Heidi Tagliavini. The Commission will conclude in July.

The Government of Georgia, supported by a multi-agency effort, is piloting a National Child Protection Referral System designed for prevention, early detection and timely intervention in cases of violence against children. Piloting is taking place in 8 cities (Tbilisi, Rustavi, Gori, Marneuli, Bolnisi, Telavi, Kutaisi and Batumi) and 34 villages in the adjacent area in Shida Kartli. Developed by a Save the Children-led group of experts with the financial support of USAID, the system offers a model of referral for protection issues overall, which may go beyond children as a target group. In practice, the system works as follows: in each site where the referral system is set up, a Protection Network is established and includes a representative from health care, social services, education sector (schools), day care facilities and the police. All these actors are thoroughly trained on how to intervene within the referral system. The Network, facilitated by a Coordinator, meets once a month to share lessons learnt and best practices to ensure improvement of the system. The National Child Protection Network, composed of Save the Children, EveryChild, PHMDF, World Vision, Terre des Hommes and CHCA, with the financial support from USAID, OFDA, UNICEF, ECHO, European Union, ISPCAN, OAK Foundation, Misereor, WVI Switzerland and Stichting Vluchteling, assists the Government of Georgia in piloting the National Child Protection Referral System.

The Fourth Round of the Geneva Talks took place 17-18 February. Outcomes included an agreement on a mechanism for prevention and investigation of security incidents. This includes a 24-hour hotline and joint inspections. There was no agreement reached on the proposed convoys to South Ossetia entering simultaneously from Russia and from Georgia to deliver humanitarian supplies. The next talks will take place sometime during the spring.

2.0 Coordination and Humanitarian Response in Georgia

2.1 SHELTER AND NON FOOD ITEMS

Lead Agency: UNHCR

Humanitarian Response & Achievements

In Gori UNHCR and its partners continue distribution of firewood. This week UNHCR distributed firewood to 155 families in Kvemo Artsevi and NRC to 85 families in Jariasheni. Distribution of another 25m3 is planned in Kvemo Artsevi and 13m3 in Jariasheni.

UNHCR distributed 387 folding beds, 667 mattresses (cotton), 469 blankets (cotton), 455 pillows (cotton), 1531 bed linen, 420 rubber bottles, 382 vacuum flasks, and 418 electric Heaters in 44 collective centres in Tbilisi.

Gaps & Planning

UNHCR plans to distribute 826m3 of firewood in Kvemo Artsevi, Kveshi, Akhulubani and Adzvi, while NRC will distribute 604m3 of firewood in Akhris, Jariasheni, Mumlaankari and Tsisiantkari.

UNHCR received a donation of used sport clothes from the International Olympic Committee, which will be distributed to IDPs after finalising all necessary documents.

2.2 FOOD SECURITY

Lead Agency: WFP, FAO

Humanitarian Response & Achievements

February food distribution is ongoing for all conflict-affected populations in collective centres and settlements, and returnees and vulnerable populations in the adjacent area. Food covering a 30-day ration will be provided to an estimated 85,000 beneficiaries. As of 18 February, 23,900 beneficiaries were provided with over 260 tons of food. The distribution was completed in Tbilisi with a 30-day ration provided to 7,500 IDPs in collective centres and 1,500 IDPs in host families.

Food security, nutrition and agriculture livestock assessment is ongoing. On 27 February an Experts round table will take place to discuss preliminary findings and a way forward.

Food Security Cluster is discussing the potential interventions to ensure adequate food security and sound technical agricultural and livestock practices to all populations affected by the conflict.

2.3 WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE (WASH)

Lead Agency: UNICEF

Humanitarian Response & Achievements

Distribution of hygiene materials is ongoing in new settlements. After finalising the project cooperation with UNICEF, Oxfam handed over remaining supplies to IRC and ACF who continue distributing hygiene and sanitation materials to people in new settlements and collective centres. IRD made available 1,500 hygiene kits for distribution by other WASH Cluster agencies. IOCC will assess the water and sanitation situation in 10 new settlements and will target their assistance in coordination with other cluster members.

UNICEF continues supporting Shida Kartli Water Department to build capacities to meet the water supply needs of population in the region, including those hosted in new settlements and collective centres. UNICEF will consider allocating financial assistance to the regional authorities for procurement of excavation machinery needed for further extension of system of boreholes and wells in Shida Kartli.

Gaps & Planning

WASH Cluster agencies will provide OCHA with update on ongoing and planned activities to review the information on the 3W maps.

2.4 LOGISTICS

Lead Agency: WFP

Humanitarian Response & Achievements

Since the beginning of FAO animal feed distribution on 23 January, 912 Mt have been delivered from the animal feed production plant to WFP warehouse in Tbilisi (an average of 50Mt a day). So far, 546 Mt of animal feed has been distributed.

ACF with WFP assistance completed distribution of 170 hygiene kits and 400 water kits in Gori district.

Gaps & Planning

ACTS Georgia with WFP help plans to distribute 238 hygiene kits and 907 school kits made available by IRD, to collective centres in Tbilisi.

World Vision will distribute with WFP help UNICEF's text books to 89 Schools.

The Salvation Army plans to distribute clothes, shoes, new born kits in Gori district. WFP assistance with storage and transportation will be required.

UNHCR has in its pipeline foldable beds, bed linen and mattresses that are available to the humanitarian community.

A first tranche of 700 Mt of animal feed for Gori district will be delivered by a convoy of 35 trucks from Turkey. 3 more are expected to arrive from Holland in 3 shipments.

2.5 HEALTH

Lead Agency: WHO

Humanitarian Response & Achievements

Patriarchate and D. Uznadze Institute of Psychology's (PIP) mobile teams, consisting of 12 psychologists, carried out mental health and psychosocial support activities with displaced school children in Gori, Kheltubani and Tskaltsminda. In Kheltubani and Tskaltsminda, PIP social worker implements community mobilization activities, helps form self-support groups, guides IDPs in developing business plans and counsels them on how to interact with commercial banks.

Mobile groups of CLARITAS conducted educational consultations, while UMCOR distributed humanitarian aid in Koda, at the premises of M. Iashvili Children's Central Hospital, in Tabakhmela and Kareli.

In the framework of the "Promotion of Breastfeeding and Infant and Maternal Nutrition in Georgia" project, UMCOR assisted 1,132 beneficiaries, including 102 pregnant women and 345 mothers unable to breastfeed. After having covered all collective centres in Tbilisi, UMCOR started addressing the needs of IDP/returnee lactating mothers, women clinically diagnosed as being unable to lactate, pregnant women and infants 0-24 months old in new settlements countrywide. Two-third of the Gori new settlements was covered.

GIP-Tbilisi finalised the training course for primary care medical doctors. 21 general practitioners from the adjacent area villages participated in the course "Mental Health Sequel of Psycho-Trauma and Identification and Dealing with Problems of War-Affected Population." GIP piloted the mental health assessment tool for service providers, developed by the MHPSS Sub-cluster working group.

Within the framework of the Georgian Mental Health Coalition project funded by Cordaid, the Health Cluster partners started elaborating a set of recommendations for the Strategy of Psychosocial Care of the War-Affected Population.

Georgian Mental Health Coalition received a grant from the Open Society Georgia Foundation to implement a 5-months project on Psychosocial Support to IDPs, carried out jointly by the Georgian Association for Mental Health, Association for People in Need of Special Care, and the Antistigma Association. Their mobile teams, consisting of one psychiatrist, one psychologist and one social worker, provided psychosocial support and consultations to 158 IDPs in 8 collective centres in Tbilisi. Due to the shortage of modern psychotropic drugs and anti-depressants, individual cases of severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder were referred to the psycho-neurological dispensaries. However, there is a shortage of relevant medications at the dispensaries as well. The Coalition members developed and distributed a brochure on trauma-related stress to beneficiaries.

Hellenicare mobile units served 136 out of 450 IDPs residing in village Kvemo Khviti in Gori district. Also, Hellenicare specialists provided healthcare assistance to 53 out of 98 IDPs in a Gori collective centre. In 4 collective centres in Tbilisi, the NGO prescribed and provided essential drugs, distributed health kits, school kits and non-food items.

Gaps & Planning

The Georgian Mental Health Coalition plans to organise 3-hour trainings on identification of stress symptoms and provision of the basic psychosocial assistance for 14 IDP leaders in Tbilisi collective centres.

UMCOR plans to distribute humanitarian aid in the new IDP settlements in Tserovani, Tsilkani, Tsinamdzghvriantkari and Prezeti.

2.6 PROTECTION

Lead Agency: UNHCR

Humanitarian Response & Achievements

Over 30,000 textbooks were purchased for more than 5,000 IDP children (from 2nd to 6th grade) living in Shida Kartli. The books will be distributed to 140 schools in the four districts of the region. The books will be kept in the school libraries so to ensure that if IDP children move somewhere else, new arrivals may also benefit. A ceremony was held on 12 February in Khashuri to officially inaugurate the distribution of the textbooks, which will take place from 10 - 20 February. This is a coordinated effort between UNICEF, IRC, WVI, Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Government.

The official inauguration of the piloting of the Child Protection Referral Procedures at the Sakrebulo level was held on 11 February in Gori. 8 Sakrebulos in the Gori and Kareli districts - Variani, Berbuki, Tiniskhidi, Breti, Dzevera, Tkviavi, Abisi and Mejvrikhevi - will be the target sites. Referral procedures are being piloted at the city level in 8 sites, one of which is Gori. The city and Sakrebulo level piloting constitute a national effort, named The National Child Protection Network, which assists the Government of Georgia in piloting the National Child Protection Referral System and is composed of Save the Children, EveryChild, PHMDF, World Vision, Terre des Hommes and CHCA, with the financial support from USAID, OFDA, UNICEF, ECHO, European Union, ISPCAN, OAK Foundation, Misereor, WVI Switzerland and Stichting Vluchteling.

814 IDP children, who have recently moved with their parents from Tbilisi to Gori collective centres as well as to nearby villages and settlements, have been integrated in local schools and have started the new school semester.

Since 12 February NRC Protection Monitoring Teams have conducted monitoring visits to Rustavi (12), Bolnisi (2), Tetritskaro (1), Gardabani (3), Mtskheta (2) and Tskhvarichamia (1). In Rustavi IDPs receive bread regularly. However, distribution of other food items by local municipality and church is of a sporadic and spontaneous nature and does not cover the whole caseload. A number of collective centres that Protection Monitoring Teams visited were already closed. Most of the IDPs residing in Rustavi are about to be resettled or have received compensations.

UNHCR Gori finished and produced a report for 21 collective centres monitored in Gori in the past two weeks. The report was shared with the members of the interagency coordination meeting. Also, the office finalised the monitoring of 21 new settlements in Shida Kartli region. The outcomes of the monitoring will be reflected in a specific report and shared with relevant actors.

Population movement remains stable to and from Perevi, Akhalgori and Khurvaleti. Since 26 January some 788 individuals/238 families have been relocated to Shida Kartli region bringing the total number of IDPs to 1,188 individuals/352 families in 21 collective centres in Gori district.

Gaps & Planning

In Gori all kindergartens but two are occupied by IDPs. Currently there are 8 kindergartens that are functioning in school premises or private houses. However, there are reports that rental fees for private houses have increased. As of 1 March, there is a possibility for 7 additional kindergartens to resume activities for one group of children. Close monitoring and follow-up will be ensured.

Transport from settlements to schools, which are located at a far distance, is reported not to function in all cases. The Child Protection and Education Sub-cluster members are monitoring this aspect and follow-up will be ensured.

2.7 LIVELIHOOD AND GOVERNANCE

Lead Agency: UNDP

Humanitarian Response & Achievements

Currently, several assessments on livelihoods are ongoing. ICRC is doing an assessment in the villages close to the administrative border, WFP and FAO are doing a follow-up assessment of the IRA which includes a number of livelihood related questions (new settlements and adjacent area), and DRC continues to do assessments (village by village before delivering targeted support).

Income generating projects, cash for work initiatives and new vocational education started targeting a few new settlements.

3.0 Humanitarian Funding

As of 19 February, the total funding directed towards projects in the Flash Appeal stands at $63 million contributed or committed (covering 54.7% 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 $130.6 million humanitarian funding (inside and outside the Flash Appeal) has been reported so far, with a further $7.5 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 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