Georgia

OCHA Georgia: Abkhazia briefing note Sep 2003

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published

Attachments


RECENT EVENTS/HIGHLIGHTS

  • Despite various efforts and initiatives the peace-process remains in a deadlock

  • UNOMIG introduces security-related temporary travel and movement regulations and restrictions

  • Accion Contra el Hambre starts a new SDC-funded project, and becomes UN WFP implementing partner in Abkhazia

BACKGROUND

The 1992-1993 civil war in Abkhazia led to a displacement of over 250,000 persons and devastation of this once thriving agricultural centre and tourist destination squeezed between the Black Sea and the Caucasus mountains. In 1994 the Georgian and Abkhaz sides, under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) and with the facilitation of the Russian Federation, signed the Moscow Agreement on the separation of forces, bringing two years of fighting to a halt. The Commonwealth of Independent States Peace Keeping Force (CISPKF) has been deployed to monitor compliance with the Agreement, with the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) monitoring the implementation of the Agreement and observing the operation of the CISPKF.

A Quadripartite Agreement on Voluntary Return of Refugees and Displaced Persons was also signed in 1994 by the Abkhaz and Georgian sides, the Russian Federation, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This agreement, however, resulted at that time in a low level of official return of IDPs to the Gali District. By 1996 and 1997, an increasing number of spontaneous returnees drew the support and assistance of international organisations. A United Nations office for the protection of human rights in Abkhazia was established in 1996.




In 1997, negotiations resumed in Geneva, leading to the establishment of the Coordinating Council of the Georgian and Abkhaz sides. The Council is chaired by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG) to Georgia, assisted by the Russian Federation as facilitator, and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Group of Friends of the Secretary General consisting of France, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Russian Federation as observers. The Coordinating Council comprises three working groups: 1) On Security and the Non-Resumption of Hostilities; 2) On IDPs and Refugees; 3) On Social and Economic Issues. This Council has since been the main negotiating body within the UN-led peace-process for the settlement of the conflict in Abkhazia.

In 1998, within the framework of the Working Group on Social and Economic issues, the UN-led Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) visited Abkhazia. On 19 February 1998, four UN Military Observers (UNMOs) were kidnapped in Western Georgia during the Mission. Despite this incident, the Mission continued and was able to identify short- and medium-term needs in the primary production and social sectors. In addition, the Mission reviewed food security issues, landmines, facilities for post-trauma counselling and continuing humanitarian needs.

In the spring of 1998, the situation in the Gali District and Western Georgia deteriorated. From 12 March to 29 April 1998, a prolonged protest on the Georgian-controlled side of the Inguri River Bridge closed the only legal entry point into Abkhazia to vehicle traffic. The blockade severely impaired the movement of humanitarian aid workers and the delivery of assistance to civilians in need, as have a number of similar subsequent protests. In May 1998, fighting broke out in the Gali District, causing the renewed displacement of approximately 30,000-40,000 persons, many of whom were returnees receiving assistance from international organisations and were now displaced for the second time. During those events, many homes and communal facilities built or rehabilitated by UNHCR to support returnees were destroyed. Since the events of May 1998, security in Gali District has remained a serious concern to international community. The safety and dignity of returnees has not yet been guaranteed and international humanitarian organisations have not resumed regular assistance programs in areas of return. Nonetheless, as of 1999, a number of new spontaneous returns, with some encouragement by the local authorities, have been observed in the Gali District. The living conditions of these returnees have not been satisfactory either from the security point of view or in terms of the process of rehabilitation of their homes, infrastructure or socio-economically normal living conditions.

In November 2000, a Joint Assessment Mission (JAM) visited the Gali District. The JAM was led by the United Nations, with the participation of OSCE, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the OSCE Office of the High Commissioner on National Minorities (OSCE/HCNM), the Council of Europe, and the European Commission, while the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and UNHCR sent their observers. The purpose of the mission was to evaluate conditions for the safe, secure and dignified return of IDPs to the region.

Since the declaration of independence by the de facto Abkhaz authorities, attempts to resume negotiations on the political status of Abkhazia have been unsuccessful. To restart a dialogue, a document called "Basic Principles for the Distribution of Competences between Tbilisi and Sukhumi" was created by the SRSG to Georgia in late 2001. This document, known as "Boden's paper", aimed at facilitating meaningful negotiations on the political status between the two parties in conflict, and received full support of the Group of Friends of the Secretary-General; however, the Abkhaz side has not yet accepted to receive and discuss the document. Despite protracted efforts by the international community, the peace-process remains in a deadlock.

In parallel to these efforts aimed at resolving the political status of Abkhazia, the United Nations, in the framework of the 1997 Geneva Process, have addressed the issues of security, the return of IDPs and social and economic problems through the Coordinating Council and its three Working Groups. However, the Coordinating Council has not met since January 2001. Initially, the Abkhaz side suspended its participation due to aggravation of tensions, including hostage incidents and increased presence of armed groups along the ceasefire line in April and May 2001. Later Coordinating Council meetings were also cancelled by the two sides due to continued tensions and hostage incidents throughout 2001. Although - after several successful meetings of respective working groups in 2002 - tentative date for next meeting have been announced on several occasions, the Coordinating Council has not yet met and there is no indication on the timing of the next meeting.

In late 2002, the security situation in Gali District and Kodori Valley - despite a number of minor incidents and at times heightened tensions in Kodori - has in general improved. This has brought some positive results, i.e. the resumption of Working Group III dealing with social and economic issues. At the Working Group III Meeting in April 2002, agreements were reached on further steps regarding education, provision of painkilling drugs by Georgian side to Abkhaz side. It was also acknowledged that the Phase I of the telecommunication project, implemented by UNDP with German government funding, was completed. At the next Working Group III Meeting in June 2002, the sides, among other things, discussed the issue of teaching in native the language in Gali District. The sides also agreed to conduct cardic surgery for children suffering from heart diseases, endorsed the sport proposal for youth in the conflict zones, endorsed the second part of the telecommunication project and adopted mutually agreed points to be included in next phase, and endorsed the proposal for the development of Zugdidi and Sukhumi electricity infrastructure. The last Working Group III Meeting took place in Tbilisi in November 2002. The meeting discussed the implementation of projects such as reinforcement of the Inguri river banks, production and transportation of Abkhaz and other unique grape saplings, restoration of Abkhaz cultural heritage thru UNESCO. On the sensitive issue of language of instruction in Gali, the sides agreed to consider concrete measures within three months. The next Working Group III Meeting was originally foreseen for February 2003, but has been postponed to date.

Working Groups I and II met in July 2002. Of particular importance was the meeting of Working Group II on IDPs, which previously had met only twice in 1998. This meeting was requested by the two sides and was held under the chairmanship of UNHCR Representative. As agreed at the Working Group II Meeting in July 2002, a UN-led Security Assessment Mission is now ongoing in Abkhazia. The Mission was invited to the region with the task to assess the security matters in the area, particularly in Gali District, and develop recommendations aimed at improving law enforcement and the overall security situation. This, in turn, is expected to pave the way for implementation of other recommendations aimed at improving the socio-economic conditions in the district for those who have returned spontaneously.

From 8-12 November 2002, Mr. Guehenno, the UN Under Secretary-General (USG) for Peacekeeping Operations, paid an official visit to Georgia, including Abkhazia. This was the highest-ranking UN official's visit ever to Abkhazia. The USG had an opportunity to learn first-hand about some technical and material aspects of UNOMIG operation. The visit, which included a series of high-level meetings in Tbilisi, Sukhumi and Moscow, was expected to upgrade the profile of the conflict and reinvigorate the Geneva Process, as well as prompt further negotiations over the peace process.

Despite continuing efforts by the international community, there was little if any progress in the political process over the conflict in Abkhazia. The "UNSG's Group of Friends for Georgia" held a brainstorming session in Geneva on 19-20 February 2003, in which the "Friends" reaffirmed their commitment to the principles of political settlement of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict and recommended the establishment of task forces to deal with the three groups of issues: economic rehabilitation, IDPs and refugees, and political and security issues. Tbilisi-based "Friends" visited Sukhumi on March 3, and met with local authorities, CIS PKF and UNOMIG, for the first time in 4 years. The expectations were that the three task forces, broader-based than existing working groups, would act as mechanisms to help revitalise the political and the Geneva/Coordinating Council process. The Abkhaz side, however, reiterated their refusal to accept the "Boden" document. At the same time, they objected to establishment of the so-called Task Forces recommended by the "Group of Friends" as part of the Geneva Process, since there existed the Coordinating Council mechanism. The UNSG's Group of Friends for Georgia met again in Geneva on 21-22 July to discuss situation in Abkhaz conflict zone. Economic cooperation, return of IDPs, political and security issues were discussed at the top-level meeting, chaired by Jean-Marie Guéhenno, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.

The Presidents of Georgia and the Russian Federation met in Sochi on 6-7 March 2003. They discussed, among others, issues related to Russian-Georgian co-operation, the political settlement of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, and international and regional issues of mutual interest. The de facto Abkhaz authorities participated in part of the talks. The Presidents agreed on the necessity of synchronization of the repatriation process to the Gali district with the reopening of the railway line. The Sochi process has been designed to function through two working groups, one dealing with economic rehabilitation, with the emphasis on the railroad link restoration and Inguri Hydro-power station, and another on the return of IDPs and refugees. The bilateral working group on return of IDPs held two meetings (in June and July, in Moscow and Tbilisi respectively), with the participation of UN/UNHCR, which have not yet resulted in concrete agreements on principles and modalities of a potential return of the displaced persons concerned, initially to the Gali district.

On April 7, the entire Cabinet of Ministers of the de facto Abkhazian Government, collectively resigned. The resignation followed the letter submitted to the Government by the 1992-1993 Association of War Veterans of Abkhazia called "Amtsakhara". This resignation, compounded with the escape of 9 'high-profile' prisoners from the detention centre in Sukhumi, created an acute temporary political crisis in Abkhazia, which was defused by the end of the month with the formal establishment of the new political management.

On July 26, UN Secretary-General recommended the UN National Security Council to prolong the mandate of the UN Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG). On July 30, the UN Security Council extended the UNOMIG mandate in Abkhazia, Georgia until 31 January 2004. Unanimously adopting resolution 1494 (2003), the Council also endorsed the Secretary-General's recommendation to add a civilian police component of 20 officers to the Mission to strengthen its capacity to carry out its mandate and, in particular, to contribute to the creation of conditions conducive to the safe and dignified return of IDPs and refugees.

SECURITY

In most of Abkhazia the security situation has generally been calm and stable throughout 2002 and 2003. However, a first major incident in recent years involving international community took place in June 2003. On 5 June 2003, four UNOMIG staff were kidnapped. The incident occurred when a joint UN Mission and CIS peace-keeping force were on a regular patrol in the upper Kodori valley, scene of previous clashes in the Georgia-Abkhazia conflict. The CIS soldiers were released shortly thereafter but the UN personnel, consisting of two military observers, a paramedic and a local interpreter were kept by unidentified armed group for almost a week. After various demands allegedly put forward by the kidnappers and negotiations by Georgian law enforcement bodies as well as official requests from the UN, hostages were released unharmed and brought to Tbilisi on June 10. All UNOMIG patrols to the area were suspended after the incident. This was the fourth time UNOMIG staff were kidnapped since the commencement of the Mission. Each time the kidnapping occurred in the same area and each time the hostages were released unharmed after negotiations. Another major incident during the UNOMIG's Mission was the downing of the UN helicopter in Kodori in October 2001, which killed all nine person on board.

The two exceptions to a generally relatively quiet situation in Abkhazia are the Kodori Valley and Gali District, which are widely considered insecure areas for both the local population and humanitarian agencies. A number of violent incidents, including some tragic ones, with criminal and possibly political motivations, continue to take place in Gali District. In 2003, the rise in criminality has been also observed on Zugdidi side of the Inguri River. The latest reports of the Secretary General on the situation in Abkhazia acknowledged that the level of tension in Gali District has decreased in comparison with the same periods in previous years due to a moratorium on partisan activities. Figures concerning criminal actions are in general also lower, although "cross-border" crime remains a serious problem, particularly in lower Gali. Criminal activities typically increased during the hazelnut and mandarin seasons. It has been noted of late that most criminal incidents are increasingly more of purely criminal rather than political nature.

In Gali District, criminality, including cases of robberies, shooting accidents, abdications, explosions, and sporadic paramilitary activities, continue to raise concerns about the safety of the growing returnee population that have already returned spontaneously, as well as the safety of humanitarian aid workers. Insecurity in the area also hampers visits, assessments, and possible additional support to the population of the area by international organisations. CISPKF and UNOMIG regularly conduct patrols in the Restricted Weapons Zone and the Security Zone to monitor the 1994 Moscow Agreement. CISPKF and UNOMIG have themselves been victims of criminality and/or partisan attacks, as have some NGOs. The Abkhaz authorities have also been the target. On March 11, near the village of Zemo Bargebi in the Gali District, a gang of 4-5 men shot at a UNHCR truck. There were no casualties and it is assessed that the gang misidentified the vehicle for another that was possibly involved in smuggling scrap metal. A few days later, a private truck was attacked at the same location, with the driver killed and several passengers injured. On April 16, a HALO Trust soft skin vehicle was hijacked by four armed and masked men near the Sukhumi Airport. The vehicle was found abandoned in Sukhumi later the same day, along with the hijacked driver and passenger. However, reportedly the sum of US$ 95,000 and other items were robbed.

The security concerns in Abkhazia were particularly raised in early April 2003, upon the resignation of the Cabinet of Ministers of the de facto authorities of Abkhazia, which coincided with the escape of 9 criminals from the detention centre in Sukhumi, all of them classified as "dangerous", and 6 of whom were sentenced to death. UNOMIG then imposed temporary movement restrictions. However, the tensions have gradually been reduced by end-April. By August 2003, the harvest season, including a traditional economic battle over lucrative hazelnuts business, compounded with the upcoming 10-year anniversary of the Abkhaz "Independence/Victory Day" which falls on September 30, conspired to make the security situation more fragile again, including a possible threat to UN employees in view of global developments. As a preventive measure, UNOMIG imposed new security-related travel and movement regulations and restrictions for UNOMIG personnel, effective from September 1, until October 15.

OVERVIEW OF HUMANITARIAN SITUATION, NEEDS AND RESPONSES

The civil war in Abkhazia led to a displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, and subsequent economic collapse. This has severely impoverished much of the population in Abkhazia and left large segments of the population vulnerable. International humanitarian agencies have continued with provision of aid targeting the most acute food and medical needs among the most vulnerable segments of the population. However, international aid has been steadily decreasing since 1998, while the humanitarian situation has not significantly improved and, according to most humanitarian organisations present in the region, has been aggravated for many people.

Furthermore, despite the fact that the humanitarian aid is still required for some groups, most specifically for the elderly without family support and those with major diseases, it is a commonly-shared view of the international community active in Abkhazia that it is time the emphasis should be shifted towards addressing the underlying causes of humanitarian needs more proactively. There is, for example, much scope for local-level, participatory community mobilisation projects designed to increase opportunities for self-help and community building, thus preventing further de-capitalisation and destitution. Even though the political status of Abkhazia remains unresolved and the peace-process is in a deadlock, more concerted efforts by the international community should be directed towards low-scale rehabilitation activities aiming at improved basic living conditions and creating more income. There is still a need to encourage community development and mobilisation initiatives in Abkhazia.

In certain parts of Abkhazia, most notably Gali District and the Kodori Valley, the volatile security environment complicates even the provision of humanitarian assistance. The lack of safe and dignified conditions for returnees in Gali District remains as one of the biggest challenges faced by international humanitarian agencies. Acute humanitarian and basic rehabilitation needs continue to be a problem and the difficult economic situation encourages criminality. Many returnees often migrate between Georgia proper and Abkhazia based on harvest seasons, while continuing to receive IDP allowances in Zugdidi. After assessing the conditions in Gali District, UNHCR has resumed certain types of assistance including support for the rehabilitation of schools to address the needs of persons who have already returned. Recognising that the security threat in certain parts of Gali District precludes regular programming visits by humanitarian actors, UNOMIG, in consultation with UNHCR and other humanitarian actors, has been exploring ways in which it can contribute to the alleviation of human suffering in regions in which the UNOMIG patrols constitute the only regular international presence.

In 2003, UNHCR, UNV, ICRC, MSF, and the HALO Trust have continued their programmes, while some others have started, resumed or are about to resume their work in Abkhazia. Nevertheless, donor organisations are still by and large reluctant to intervene, mainly due to precarious security conditions and lack of progress in peace-process negotiations. But as a number of returnees, between 30,000 and 40,000, are now residing in Gali District, and there is a broad understanding that socio-economic conditions in Abkhazia are not improving, but rather further degrade the living conditions for the majority of the population, some donors are indicating willingness to support infrastructure and small community building projects. By end 2002, and throughout 2003, a somewhat greater interest by donors to support projects in Abkhazia was noted. This resulted in the reopening of the office of Premiere Urgence in November 2002, while Accion contra el Hambre (ACH) reactivated its programme in January 2003, subsequently introducing two other projects, one funded by SDC and another as implementing partner to the UN World Food Programme (WFP). By end 2002, UNIFEM and AED also opened their respective offices in Sukhumi. Notably, ECHO in early 2003 announced the allocation of 1.3 million Euro to support humanitarian programming in Abkhazia and western Georgia in 2003, which was to be effected through ICRC and ACH programmes. ECHO mission took place in May 2003 and visited ECHO-funded projects in Samegrelo and Abkhazia. ECHO thereafter confirmed that it intended to continue and even expand its humanitarian programmes in the region. A new funding decision of 2.2 Million Euro was adopted in September 2003, which will allow to continue funding food security programmes implemented by the ICRC and ACH.

On February 11, OCHA convened a conference in Tbilisi to present the 2003 Humanitarian Situation and Strategy in Georgia to the Government and international assistance community. OCHA presented the Strategy document, which is meant to assist donor agencies and other international agencies in their strategic planning, fundraising, advocacy and other efforts on behalf of the population in need in the country. Among four prioritised areas, there was a panel group dealing specifically with the conflict zones, i.e. Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The prioritised panel group concluded that there is no humanitarian emergency in Abkhazia at present, as compared to the situation in early years following the armed conflict in early 1990s. However, the current level of humanitarian aid in Abkhazia is considered essential for the well-being and survival of the most vulnerable segments of the population. The panel group's recommendations for Abkhazia were the following: review the humanitarian situation and address the existing gaps, especially in health sector; support, to a much larger extent, rehabilitation of basic infrastructure and private dwellings; increase income and employment generating activities; consider labour-bases infrastructure and community mobilisation projects; encourage support to psycho-socially oriented projects; provide further support to civil society and local NGO development. Upon the Conference, there has been more interest by the international community in considering support to various programmes in Abkhazia. These potential programmes, however, in most cases have yet to be materialised. OCHA intends to convene another conference on humanitarian situation and strategy in Georgia 2004, which is scheduled to take place in the last quarter of 2003.

PROGRAMMES BY SECTORS

Education

UNHCR, in co-operation with local authorities and beneficiary communities, continued to focus on improving communal infrastructure through the school rehabilitation project in order to create minimally acceptable educational conditions for returnee and local children to attend classes, thus far contributing to the UN-led peace and confidence building efforts. In addition to the 73 schools rehabilitated in 2001-2002, UNHCR is in the process of assisting in rehabilitation of 10 more school buildings in Abkhazia (6 in the Gali District and 4 in other parts of Abkhazia). It is expected that way over 1,500 school children will attend classes in considerably improved education environment this year. This number adds to over 13,800 pupils who benefited from the school rehabilitation assistance in 2001-2002. Practically all construction materials provided by UNHCR have been delivered to the sites by August 2003 (depending on the location), and the communities concerned have used them in accordance with agreed upon objectives. In 2002, UNICEF supported this effort by the provision of 22 school-in-a-box kits for children at the primary education level (over 4,700 beneficiaries), which have been distributed through UNHCR channels. Particularly good progress in implementation has been noted in the Gali District. Assistance continued to be provided to over 270 vulnerable and elderly persons in Sukhumi in the form of food and non-food items, as well as health services and social service delivery.

Conciliation Resources (CR) continued to provide a civic education programme together with the local NGO Centre for Humanitarian Programmes (CHP), working with teachers from several regions of Abkhazia. The Berghof Research Centre supported a range of Abkhaz and Georgian partner organisations to finalise and publish a discussion pack of materials on the Georgian and Abkhaz conflict. The materials, written in Russian and translated into Abkhaz and Georgian have been used in training programmes in Tbilisi and Sukhumi. In September 2002, a two-week summer university entitled "International Relations in the Contemporary World" took place in Pitsunda, organised by CR and CHP, with the support of UNOMIG. Participants from throughout the Caucasus took part, including a number from Tbilisi. This promises to be an annual event.

Since June 2003, UMCOR Georgia is conducting "Peace Education for Secondary Schools in Abkhazia" in cooperation with Sukhumi Youth House as implementing partner, and with financial support from United States Institute of Peace. UMCOR's Peace Education Pilot Project aspires to create a democratic and constructive environment in Abkhaz schools through a series of peace education classes that will teach conflict resolution skills to both teachers and students. Reaching over 320 children and 16 teachers in four towns, the project will enhance their ability to deal with conflict in a peaceful and democratic way, as well as to defuse the potential for future conflict. The project will bring together different ethnic groups and help create tolerance among these diverse groups. The group of teachers trained under this project is multiethnic, selected from eight Abkhaz, Russian, Georgian, and Armenian schools in Sukhumi, Gali, Ochamchira and Tkvarcheli. Through this project, UMCOR aims to maintain and strengthen the links between different ethnic groups residing in Abkhazia as well as promote ethnic reconciliation and tolerance building processes through peace education and peaceful conflict resolution training for teachers and students in secondary Abkhaz schools. To date, three Training of Trainers (TOT) sessions for secondary school teachers have been conducted in Pitsunda. At present, Peace Education Manual is being prepared by the group of participants of these sessions, and Peace Classes are expected to begin in October 2003 in eight secondary schools throughout Abkhazia.

In the frame of the ICRC education programme and following the example of the Russian Federation in the academic year 2002 one hour of IHL was included in the Social Sciences curriculum of the ninth form of secondary schools of Abkhazia. With participation of the local education ministry, assistants from the ICRC Moscow Delegation conducted two seminars, in Sukhumi and Gagra, respectively. History and Social sciences teachers were involved, and the seminars in total covered 37 teachers and 40 pupils. Four more seminars for 85 teachers and 80 pupils were conducted in Ochamcira, Gali, Tkvarcheli and Gudauta regions. The programme envisages monitoring as well, which has already been carried out in 56 schools and is ongoing.

Children's Needs and Psycho-social Rehabilitation

UNHCR, through its local implementing partner Charity Humanitarian Center Abkhazeti (CHCA), continued youth related activities with over 300 IDPs and local adolescents participating regularly in youth clubs in Western Georgia. Training is given on Business, Civic Education, Communication, English and Computers. IDP and local children (aged 10-14) attend weekend schools. Vocational schools have benefited vulnerable IDP and local adolescents, school drop-outs receiving practical work place training under the guidance of a mentor. The youth clubs have implemented 20 micro-community grants and 35 small business projects. In 2003, UNHCR supported UNV to print and distribute 23,000 copies of the children's magazine "White Crane." The free monthly magazine is published both in Georgian and Russian languages and distributed to 11,500 most vulnerable children with the aim of uniting children from divided societies, giving them an opportunity to express their trauma. It is distributed to schools, institutions, collective centres and orphanages throughout Georgia, including Abkhazia.

Since 1998, The Academy for Educational Development (AED) has conducted the Caucasus Young Leaders for Peace and Development (YLPD) Programme with financial support from USAID/Caucasus. From its inception as a US Summer Camp Programme in 1998, which reached 40 young people, it became a multi-faceted programme which at the moment reaches more than 1, 000 kids (510 teenagers are direct programme participants) from both sides of the 1992 -1993 Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. As a result of the YLPD Programme, there is an organisational framework and network of 15 clubs/NGOs serving vulnerable Abkhaz and Georgian youth, which have been established on both sides of the conflict. They are located in Tbilisi, Batumi, Zugdidi, Kutaisi and Tskhaltubo on the Georgian side and Gagra, Gudauta, Sukhumi, Gulripsh, Tkvarcheli, Ochamchira and Gali on the Abkhaz side. Within these clubs/NGOs and the YLPD network, the Abkhaz-Georgian young leaders find psycho-social support, encouragement and reinforcement for developing and putting into practice positive attitudes toward themselves, others, the future, their role in a democratic and market-oriented economy and the peaceful transitioning of the Abkhaz-Georgian conflict. In other words, they are building their capacities as individuals with mutual self-respect and understanding that are able to work together and communicate across the conflict's divide to define and address their own needs as well as the needs of other youth and adults within their communities. In 2002-2004 the YLPD programme goal is to consolidate the Programme into a sustainable cross-conflict collaborative organizational network of youth clubs and NGOs for promising Abkhaz and Georgian young leaders engaged in community service, career oriented education programs and employment and income generation activities in order to build a constituency for the peaceful resolution of the conflict and a foundation for long-term economic development. Besides the traditional program components, every club runs a weekend school where these subjects are taught to younger children. In addition, Young Leaders are putting their new business skills to use in a variety of income-generating initiatives to benefit their clubs. With support from the YLPD programme, two NGOs have been established: Young Leaders Association (YLA in Sukhumi) and the Academy for Peace and Development (APD in Tbilisi). On July 7 - 18, 2003, with financial support from USAID and in close cooperation with YLA and APD, the AED organized the YLPD Summer 2003 Peace Camp in Macka, outside of Trabzon, Turkey. 108 Abkhaz and Georgian teenagers and local trainers attended the Peace Camp. All participants were moved by the opportunity to meet each other and participate in an excellent programme full of interesting training sessions, nice recreation events, and a huge possibility to initiate and expand relationships. The young leaders had a chance to share their experience and knowledge and conduct various joint activities. The results from the Summer 2003 Peace Camp demonstrate that a bridge of trust, understanding, cooperation, and friendship exists between the Georgian and Abkhaz teenagers, trainers and the assistant trainers. They had fun learning and playing together, and also worked on joint projects, events, and camp videos. In the future, they will develop projects in civil society development, economic development, ecology, health, education, arts, music and sports, demonstrating that their collaboration in the camps is only the beginning.

With support from the USAID, UMCOR established a Youth House in Sukhumi to serve the needs of about 7,300 conflict-affected children. Programming includes language classes, art classes, music classes, a journalism programme which publishes a newspaper, computer training, and psychosocial rehabilitation. Currently there are 2 youth houses in Abkhazia and 2 in Georgia proper (Tbilisi and Zugdidi). The conflict transformation seminars for all Youth Houses have been periodically held in Yerevan, Armenia. Sukhumi and Ochamchira youth houses have completed inter-ethnic conflict transformation projects aimed at ethnic reconciliation of youth. The Sukhumi Youth House developed an official website and the Ochamchira Youth House published a Children's Health and Hygiene Pictorial Story Book.

With support of the Swiss Cooperation Office (SDC) for the South Caucasus, a local NGO, Women Association of the Gali District, has created a rehabilitation centre for children. It targets the social rehabilitation of the young population, the reinforcement of the team spirit and the sense of initiatives among the Gali children. A new project aims at further supporting of the above-mentioned rehabilitation centre for children and besides, supporting the psychological centre for women in order to contribute to the social and psychological rehabilitation of children and women through providing the support by the professional doctors for free of charge.

Through the financial assistance of the SDC, the Georgian-Abkhaz Two Side Coordination Council organized the translation and publication of the adopted, fairy-tale version of "The Knight in the Panther's Skin" (by Shota Rustaveli). The main objective of the project is to contribute to overcome the post-war mistrust and aggression between the two sides of the conflicting parties. Introduction with the culture and history of the Georgian people will help Abkhazian children to overcome the existing mistrust and negative attitude towards Georgians, so the publication of the book will facilitate the re-establishment and improvement of the relationship between Georgians and Abkhazians.

Community Development/Community Mobilisation

ACH plans to commence by November 2003 the SDC-funded "trans-boundary" community development project covering four districts in Samegrelo and Abkhazia. The project aims at creating a favourable socio-economic environment for families living in Zugdidi district and families living in Ochamchira, Gali and Tkvarcheli districts with the assumption that, through the enhancement of the socio-economic environment, the targeted beneficiaries will have a future prospect in their life to contribute a peace building process and might promote attitudes towards a disengagement from conflict. The project is being implemented through local NGOs, which actively participated on the identification process of this intervention.

SDC, in close cooperation with UNOMIG, allocated 150,000 Swiss Francs for local initiatives in Abkhazia and Samegrelo in order to increase self-reliance of the population and promote confidence building between the ethnic groups. Up to 25 small projects (in Sukhumi, Gulripshi, Gudauta, Ochamchire, Tkvarcheli, Gali, Zugdidi districts) have been financed (budget limitation to USD 5,000). The appreciation of this small project line showed the need and usefulness of such actions, therefore it is extended with the new grant of 75,000 Swiss Francs.

In July 2003, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) signed an agreement with its Implementing Partner - ACH to implement the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation 10211.0 of WFP, for the period of 12 months (August 2003 - July 2004) in Abkhazia. The ACH will conduct community mobilization in the 20 rural communities in Abkhazia to built community self-reliance, support the formulation of a three cycle development plan, develop food-for-work proposals by communities that are the priority of vulnerable rural small-scale farmers and best address their long term food security, and to promote community ownership of the assets created.

De-mining/Mine Awareness

The HALO Trust continues de-mining and mine-awareness activities throughout Abkhazia. HALO deploys 11 manual clearance teams, six mechanical teams, three mine awareness teams, and a Minefield Marking, Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Minefield Survey team across Abkhazia. There are operational bases in Tamish and Gali, its headquarters in Ochamchira and remote bases in Sukhumi and Otobaia. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, ICRC assists victims of mine and unexploded device injuries through the Gagra Orthopaedic Centre

Health

Under USAID grant, medical equipment and supplies valued at US$ 109,000 were provided to the Sukhumi Maternity Hospital and to the Sukhumi City Hospital in February 2002. UMCOR was responsible for shipment and coordination of the aid. A new follow-up shipment of equipment and medical supplies valued at estimated US$ 60,000 will be provided through Carelift Intermnational in early Spring 2003.

Medicins Sans Frontieres-France (MSF) administers a health access programme entailing drug distributions and medical consultations throughout Abkhazia. In Sukhumi, MSF supports the City Hospital. MSF also runs a tuberculosis treatment programme throughout Abkhazia.

The ICRC continues to assist, on a regular basis, five Hospitals in Abkhazia: Republican Hospital in Sukhumi, the Agudzera, Tkvarcheli, Ochamchira and Gagra hospitals, supplying them with surgical material and medicines. All weapon-wounded persons, for the whole duration of their hospitalisation, and all other emergency surgical patients, for the first 48 hours of their hospitalisation, have free access to surgical care. In order to improve programme efficiency, the ICRC has changed its long-standing assistance procedure from a monthly distribution of surgical supplies to one evry two months. Since September 2002 to July 2003, 1,110 emergency operations were performed. Among the patients requiring emergency surgery, 31 had weapon related injuries and 3 had mine injuries. The ICRC, in cooperation with the Abkhaz health authorities, printed a leaflet with information concerning the prevention of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C. In June 2002, the ICRC commenced a new project envisaging assistance to eight Abkhaz children suffering from Congenital Heart Disease. The ICRC supports the children and their parents with accommodation and food during their staying in Tbilisi, also covers expenses for laboratory tests, medical consultations, etc. before and after the operations. Up to now 6 children were successfully operated in Tbilisi, among whom two underwent a second surgical intervention. The ICRC also assists four Blood Bank projects covering surgical and maternity needs of the hospitals in Sukhumi, Agudzera, Tkvarcheli and Gagra (the latter was launched in August 2002). The ICRC provides laboratory equipment and reagents for blood testing on HIV, hepatitis B&C and syphilis, as well as professional training to the laboratory staff in order to ensure safer and free access to blood transfusions. Since September 2002 to July 2003, total number of beneficiaries has amounted to 355. Also, the ICRC orthopaedic workshop in Gagra provides appliances, such as prostheses and orthoses, for civilian use. In May 2003, the ICRC signed a cooperation agreement with the health authorities of Abkhazia on the continuation of Orthopaedic activities in 2003. Cooperation focuses on maintaining the current level of orthopaedic activities, ensuring that all the physically handicapped in Ablhazia in need of lower limb prosthetics, orthotics and walking aids have access to the services provided by the Orthopaedic Centre in Gagra. The agreement provides for the gradual transfer of responsibilities from the ICRC to the Abkhaz health authorities.

Human Rights

In connection with the International Peace Day on 21 September 2002, the UN Human Rights Office in Abkhazia, Georgia (HROAG), together with the Association of Women of Abkhazia and the Foundation World Without Violence, on 22 September 2002 organized a seminar entitled "Women's Contribution to Peace Process", financially supported by the Open Society-Georgia Foundation. The participants - all leaders of NGOs from five districts of Abkhazia, including Gali, as well as from Tbilisi - focused on (1) international standards in the field of women's rights and on (2) issues concerning more active involvement of women in conflict prevention and conflict settlement.

Regarding promotional activities, HROAG was supported by the Government of Norway, which through the OSCE Mission to Georgia, funded several human rights projects. The first project - a contest among the students of the Abkhaz University and Sukhumi Open Institute, envisaged active participation of students in preparing written essays on "Democracy and Human Rights: Current Problems and Perspectives". They were considered by a Board of Experts (seven persons, including representatives of local NGOs, de facto Parliamentary Commission on Human Rights, National Commission on Human Rights, mass media and HROAG). The authors of the three best works were awarded with special prizes on 25 December 2002. The project was implemented by Civic Initiative and Human Being of the Future, a Sukhumi-based NGO. The second project - training for human rights teachers, was designed for 25 participants, representing all seven districts of Abkhazia, Georgia. The aim of the project was to give guidelines to schoolteachers who will be involved in teaching, based on the textbook "Your Rights" to junior high-school students. The book was published within the framework of the UNHCHR Technical Cooperation Project. The author or the book, Nona Pilia, is responsible for implementation of the project. The third project was implemented by a local NGO, the Gagra Center for Development of Civil Society. The project included a one-day seminar-festival with schoolchildren from Gagra and Pitsunda attending human rights presentations; these were delivered by the children themselves, based on games, exercises, tests, drawing of posters, etc. On 21 September 2002, the most successful participants of the festival received complementary prizes, in Gagra.

In July 2002, an ad hoc group designated to assess the conditions of the return of refugees and IDPs within the Gali District, was established under the Working Group II of the UN-led Coordinating Council. The ad hoc group is to inform the participants of the weekly Quadripartite Meetings (QPM) on the returnee progress. The ad hoc group began its work in February 2003, following the appointment of representatives of the Georgian and Abkhaz sides as well as HROAG. While not being able, for a variety of reasons, e.g. particularly volatile security situation in Gali, to permanently and closely monitor the situation of spontaneous returnees in the area, UNHCR focused on providing free legal aid to IDPs in places of their current residence, including in Imereti and Samegrelo, through its implementing partner - The Georgian Lawyers' Union (GLU). GLU also published and disseminated 3 issues (200 copies each) of a brochure "Legal Assistance for IDPs" containing articles on IDPs' legal rights and entitlements.

ICRC, through its detainee protection programme, regularly visits detainees in Abkhazia, to ensure the detainees are materially and psychologically treated according to the Geneva Conventions. In addition, vulnerable groups of the civilian population are protected in cases of discrimination, and recommendations are submitted to the authorities in an effort to improve the situation. ICRC also helps with family reunification and the exchange of communication between separated family members through the Red Cross Messages service. UNHCR conducts limited protection monitoring in areas of return.

NGO Development and Confidence-Building

A number of international organisations, NGOs and Institutes, including the EU, United Nations Volunteers (UNV) and CR (both financed by DFID), the University of California-Irvine, the Berghof Center, the OSCE, DFID and the HROAG, support the development of the local NGO sector. In addition, the Centre for Humanitarian Programmes, a local NGO, serves as a logistic and resource centre in support of other local NGOs. An increasing number of conferences, trainings, and meetings have brought NGOs and civil society actors from both sides of the conflict together for practical training and confidence-building activities.

Between May 2002 and March 2003, CR organised five study visits to Great Britain and Northern Ireland for 60 government officials, members of parliament and civic actors from across the conflict divide. The visits examined economic, security, educational and political aspects of the Northern Ireland peace process as well as the role of civil society and public participation in conflict resolution. While the experience of Northern Ireland is different from that of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict and peace process the visits enabled participants to analyse jointly how specific mechanisms and political dynamics influence progress in a peace process. In addition, the visits provided an opportunity for extensive informal discussions about participants' own experience of the relevant issues. These visits built on an ongoing dialogue process organised by CR and the Berghof Center which saw meetings take place between Georgian and Abkhaz officials, MPs and civic actors in July and November 2002 and April 2003.

Eurasia Programme of International Alert has been implementing the second stage of the Georgia-Abkhazia confidence-building project. The first phase ran in 1997 - 1999 and proved that there was a need for more confidence and capacity building activities to be promoted between the two societies. The second stage commenced in 2001. Three strands of activities were formed: working with women (The League of Caucasus Women), youth and participants of war, i.e. writers, disabled people, ex-combatants. The second phase is a three-year project funded by the European Commission, while additional funding is sought for with the DFID. Overall, the project aims at strengthening the capacity of significant civil society actors to maximise their impact on those individuals and groups who have power to make peace. While attempting at conflict transformation and prevention primarily by confidence-building measures between Georgian and Abkhaz societies, the project's strategic directions aim at civil society capacity-building, strengthening and support at peace-stakeholder community, and advocacy. Practically, civil society actors are brought to capacity and confidence-building workshops, which mainly occur in all-Caucasian format. The youth branch has worked with journalists, training in the conflict-sensitive journalism; disabled people are aiming at implementing the concept of philosophy of independent life to the Caucasus; writers are collecting as book of fiction on wars in the Caucasus; the women's strand has established a network of women of the Caucasus who seek for a more active participation of women in the peace process and life of the society at large. In Abkhazia as well as elsewhere in the region, the partners are local NGOs or individual civil society actors.

Since the beginning of its presence in Georgia in 1993, UMCOR has provided NGO development training to the staff of several local NGOs and structures in Georgia and Abkhazia, in management, grants development, proposal writing, teacher training and additional areas. The management of four UMCOR-supported Youth House NGOs participated in all of those trainings. Grant Management Structure (GMS), in place for Zugdidi Youth House, in the period of 2001 - 2002 was replicated and implemented to manage Tbilisi, Sukhumi, and Ochamchira Youth House NGOs, and proved successful. UMCOR-Georgia's approach to assisting local NGOs in building conditions for self-sustainability has focused on training and hands-on assistance to local NGOs. The Youth House NGOs have been managed and operated by officially registered, local NGOs. Passing the UMCOR Youth House model along to local NGO management has provided an avenue for duplication and long-term organizational sustainability. At present, UMCOR is conducting a pilot project with all four Youth House NGOs, aimed at assessing needs and capabilities for their self-financing in the long term through a variety of methods - from income generation schemes (such as fee-for-service activities, consultancy and training services, etc.) to locally based fundraising to building volunteer constituencies. The project is unique and innovative for Georgia - it has not been conducted for Georgian NGOs before. It is aimed at changing the way Youth House NGOs mobilise resources - from reliance on a small group of international funders to a diversified base of local and international support - through assessing possibilities of each of four Youth House NGOs to develop and implement Creative Resourcing Strategies. The term "Creative Resourcing Strategies" describes an NGO's ability to find new ways of engaging the resources in the local environment (i.e. funds, people, goods and services) to support an organization and make it self-sustaining. It encompasses a wide range of types of strategies - from income generation schemes to locally based fundraising to building volunteer constituencies - and finds expression in a variety of fresh approaches which reflect different cultural, social and economic contexts. In the framework of this project, UMCOR Georgia has conducted a joint training for 16 Abkhaz and Georgian Youth Houses' staff and young leaders on Creative Resourcing Strategies. The training was conducted September 1 - 8, 2003 in Tbilisi.

In March 2003 the University of California at Irvine (UCI) and Conciliation Resources (CR) jointly sponsored meetings in Belfast and London of Georgian and Abkhaz nongovernmental representatives with numerous civil society and top-level political actors representing all the parties in the Northern Ireland conflict. Participants learned about the interaction in Northern Ireland between civil society, local and international politicians, the role of civil society in the peace process and how all the parties built the foundation for the Belfast Agreement and how they are sustaining the process through many difficulties. The final two days were spent in feedback sessions, sharing lessons learned and planning new strategies of action in the Georgian-Abkhaz work, taking into account what was relevant from the Northern Ireland experience. In July 2003 UCI held its 10th major dialogue conference in Moscow. Participants assessed the current situation and planned future project activities to impact public opinion and the peace process. Also in July, UCI convened meetings in Sukhumi and Tbilisi of project directors and participants in governmental and nongovernmental confidence-building organizations working in the region. The UCI project has published the 9th volume of its conference proceedings, which summed up the evolution of all the project's dialogue conferences on the following topics: (1) The roots of the conflict. (2) Options for resolving the political status of Abkhazia; (3) Options for the return of Georgian IDPs to Abkhazia; (4) The underlying interests of the parties in the conflict and policy options for resolution; (5) The role of citizen peacebuilding in the peace process; (6) The role of civil society in transforming the conflict. Volumes 7-9 of the project's published conference proceedings outline some needs and interest-based approaches and related policy options for resolving the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict.

Civil Society Development/Gender

The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) continued to work with local NGOs in Abkhazia to support its regional project "Women for Conflict Prevention and Peace-building in the Southern Caucasus." Supporting UN SC Resolution #1325, UNIFEM's project encourages women's participation in the peace-building and conflict resolution process. UNIFEM currently implements several projects through local NGOs. These projects consist of training courses strengthening women's leadership and networking skills, the support of women in business entrepreneurship, and the promotion of peace education through the design and introduction of a course on conflict prevention, peace-building and gender issues at the Sukhumi University. Project activities include all 7 districts in Abkhazia. UNIFEM programming activities in Abkhazia are supported by the two sides in conflict.

The Swedish Foundation Kvinna till Kvinna (KTK) continues to work with the NGO Avangardi in Gali, which is working on a reproductive health project. In coming months, KTK considers to start supporting three more women's NGOs in Abkhazia.

Rehabilitation and Shelter

With financial support of SDC, the French NGO Premiere Urgence (PU) continued its relief programme of small rehabilitation - quick impact projects - aiming at improvement of living places and conditions for the most vulnerable households for two more years; hence, the programme's duration is November 2002 - July 2005. This programme will provide assistance to a total of some 2,000 households, divided into two components: a) individual and private flats or dwelling houses; b) blocks of flats or collective buildings. First component regards people living in extreme poverty, who are mainly beneficiaries of MSF and ICRC assistance programmes. Needs in this sector are much bigger than what the PU programme can provide for and PU will not be able to cope with the number of applications, and most of those needs remain unmet. Consequently, it will not be possible for PU to geographically extend the area of activities, and most of the projects will cover only the town of Sukhumi and its surroundings. Regarding the second component, projects directly emanating from local initiatives produced very satisfactory results. PU will therefore play the role of an intermediary structure, and projects will be implemented by the beneficiary communities themselves, together with local administrations. In order to reinforce this local capacity as well as the sustainability of the actions, PU national staff will attend specific training, which would result in the constitution of a local structure technically able to carry out an emergency relief programme such as the one PU is currently carrying out. The last year of the PU programme will see PU local staff working in an autonomous way. In view of unmet needs in the sector, PU intends to perform assessments in the western regions of Abkhazia, focusing mainly on income generation and agriculture.

In June 2003, the Controller approved terms of reference for a fund to receive contributions for small scale, quick impact humanitarian projects in the UNOMIG mission area. Two Member States, namely Italy and Switzerland, have already made contribution to this fund and several more have indicated plans to do so in the near future. Since the launch of the UNOMIG's Quick Impact Projects 16 projects have been implemented and 6 of them are now concluded. The area of intervention varies from restoration of basic public services, such as water, electricity, power and schools, to Jump-starting economic activity through income generation programmes. Although the UNOMIG Quick Impact Fund is still in its infancy, it has already demonstrated how small but important and highly visible projects can contribute to establishing normality and improving the living conditions of the local inhabitants.

Food, Nutrition, and Income

In Sukhumi, over 270 war-affected vulnerable persons, predominantly women, continued to benefit from UNHCR assistance covering basic food and medical needs provided through local NGO "Peace and Accord." During first half of 2003, over 1,500 hot meals were distributed to hospitals and 270 persons received food baskets. Medical assistance was provided to 215 persons. 30 agricultural plots were cultivated and 30 single vulnerable households were provided with seedlings and fertiliser.

In June 2003 the ICRC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the health authorities of Abkhazia on the continuation of food assistance activities throughout Abkhazia. ICRC runs the assistance programme to address the food security needs of the most destitute part of the population throughout Abkhazia. Nearly 20,000 persons receive food and non-food items, which covers their basic nutritional needs and helps them to live a more dignified life. The food assistance consists of either daily meals in 20 canteens, or of a dry food ration, distributed to targeted beneficiaries on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. Daily meals are delivered to the homes of bedridden elderly persons where they are fed and where they get hygienic care and psychological support.

ACH continued implementing the ECHO-funded agricultural project, which aims at improving the food security situation of vulnerable families from Ochamchira District presently living in Ochamchira town (Abkhazia) or displaced in the Samegrelo Region (Georgia proper). Activities are going on as planned and ACH is preparing the second phase, which will start beginning of November 2003.

Returnees

UNHCR's involvement in a sizeable reintegration programme for returnees in the Security Zone remains dependent on tangible progress in the UN-led peace-process and on reaching concrete agreements between all parties concerned on return of the displaced persons to their original homes. In view of the above, the focus of its programme activities in Abkhazia is the school rehabilitation project, which was initiated in the Gali District in 2001 and then extended to other districts of Abkhazia in 2002 while still covering most acute needs in Gali, and continued on a smaller scale in 2003.

Water Supplies, Hygiene and Sanitation

Since April 2001, ICRC has conducted an Emergency Water Project in Sukhumi and Ochamchira. By July 2002, all required equipment to secure water production (well and water pumps, transformer) and ensure its maintenance (welding diesel aggregate, spare parts) was delivered to the water board of Sukhumi. Now the installation and the connection to the electrical supply have been finalised. Last summer, this process was slowed down due to long electrical shortages. Civil engineering repairs have been completed in 2 of the 3 water-pumping stations and also in the sewage pumping station. With financial support of the town administration for the labour and material (7 kms of pipes) provided by the ICRC, the water board is proceeding with the repairs of the secondary network. In most districts, the population can already notice the improvement (availability and increased pressure). In Ochamchira, after repairs on the main water line and on the reservoirs, the water supply of the town centre increased from 2 hours per day to 12 and in some areas even 24 hours per day. The water board is also proceeding with the secondary network repairs by installing 3 kms of pipes delivered by the ICRC.

Infrastructure

The EC continues its rehabilitation activities on the Inguri Hydropower Plant. Combined EC and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) allocations are given towards the urgent repairs to restore its safe generating capacity. Due to the cascade design of the Inguri plant (the Arch Dam located in Georgia proper and the Station in Abkhazia), the project appears to be an important confidence building measure between the parties. The implementing partner, Electricite de France (EDF), recently selected two urgent actions: the procurement of a new stoplog for the Inguri Arch Dam and the procurement of a new generator at the Inguri Station.

In 2002 UNDP implemented a two-phase project on rehabilitation of telecommunications infrastructure in Abkhazia and adjacent territories in Georgia proper. The project was funded with the Grant from the German Government, which allocated US$ 300,000 for this purpose. The objective of the project is to contribute to confidence-building between the de facto Abkhaz authorities and the Government of Georgia through improvement of telecommunications in both Abkhazia, Georgia and adjacent regions in Georgia proper. This objective was met through rehabilitation of the damaged telephone cable system in Abkhazia (the village of Gulripshi and the city of Sukhumi, as well as Tamishi-Ochamchira main cable), improving telephone operation in Gali and Zugdidi, improving TV transmission in Zugdidi and installation of telephone lines in the IDP compact settlements in Tbilisi. Based on the agreement with the Government of Germany, it was decided to implement the Project in two Phases splitting the total amount budgeted in the Project into two equal parts. Based on the success of the Phase I of the project, which was verified by the Working Group III on Social and Economic Problems on its meeting of 25 June 2002, the German Government approved the 2nd tranche of funds for the Phase II under the Agreement signed with the German Government on 15 October 2002. The Grant covered the following activities: Repair of the damaged segments of the main cable between Ochamchira and Sukhumi; Rehabilitation of the supporting operational facilities (NUP) in the village of Achigvara; Procurement and installation of CODAN communications systems between Sukhumi-Psou and Tbilisi - Omarishara; Procurement and Installation of TV and Radio Transmitters in Svaneti; Procurement and installation of stationary acid batteries and diesel generator in Zugdidi and Gali for the improvement of telephone operation; Procurement and installation of 1kW TV Transmitter in Zugdidi for the improvement of TV transmission; Procurement and installation of 6.3 km connecting cable in Sukhumi, 2.140km cable in Gulripshi, 1.4 km cable in Sukhumi and Tamishi-Ochamchira 3km main cable; Procurement and installation of telephone lines in IDP compact settlements; Procurement and installation of Interface equipment ensuring automatic connection of telephone subscribers to the telephone station (ATS) in Sukhumi; etc.

of humanitarian and rehabilitation assistance programmes in Abkhazia in the second part of 2002 and 2003 (pdf* format - 194 KB)

Compiled by OCHA Georgia. In collaboration with donors, UN agencies, international and non-governmental organisations.

Comments and suggestions are most welcome.

For more information contact Srdjan Stojanovic, Head of Office, OCHA Georgia, UN House, 9 Eristavi Street, Tbilisi. Tel: (99532) 943163 or tel./fax: (99532) 959516, e-mail: srdjan.stojanovic@unocha.org.ge

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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