A public awareness campaign launched by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (the International Federation) and the Georgian Red Cross Society (GRCS) in 1998, is one of the components of the Population Movement Programme, which was established in Georgia by the International Federation to develop the capacity of the GRCS in addressing issues arising from population displacement, including establishment of the legal basis for the GRCS, and the transfer of know-how combined with implementation of micro-projects and advocacy. The population movement projects consist of various components, such as: grass-root population movement workshops for the GRCS branches and local authorities; socio-psychological rehabilitation for IDP women and children in collective centres in Tbilisi and Chechen refugees; a Red Cross summer camp for IDP and non-IDP children; Georgian language learning courses for the formerly deported Meskhetian population to facilitate integration into the society; and many others.
The public awareness campaign is an another component of the Population Movement Programme. Within the framework of the project the GRCS, with the support of the International Federation, has published posters with a citation from a famous Georgian poem written by Shota Rustaveli "Whatever you give away is yours." The posters were distributed to different governmental and non-governmental organisations with the aim to remind people that there are persons in distress, who eagerly need help. A film on the Migration Department of the GRCS was produced and leaflets were printed covering the activities of the GRCS Migration Department. This was aimed at increasing awareness of the GRCS activities targeting the displaced population, as well as its visibility. Within the Millennium Campaign launched by the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, 2000 trees were planted in collective centres accommodating IDPs. 500 trees were plated by IDP and non-IDP children in the school in order to create a "Friendship Park." It is anticipated that this action will contribute to creating a healthy environment and to giving IDPs an opportunity for engagement in self-assistance types of activity. The GRCS also organised a New Year celebrations for 2000 IDP and non-IDP children. Kids were given New Year presents. Such events are expected to create tolerance and understanding between the young generation of the displaced and local population.
The GRCS, with the support of the International Federation, is planning to organise some other activities within the Population Movement Programme, that are aimed at alleviating suffering among the displaced population.
FINCA Opens a New Lending Office
On 25 January, the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) with funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), opened a new lending office in the Lilo market. Since 1998, FINCA has served over 6,000 Georgian Business people through its offices in Tbilisi and Rustavi.
FINCA is a non-profit organisation which began working in Georgia with the aim to stimulate the economy at the grass roots. By offering credit, FINCA helps the unemployed create their own sources of employment. FINCA's business loans start at 100 USD. The interest rate is 5% per month, however, no collateral is required. Instead, the programme uses a "group lending" system. Prospective borrowers form groups of 7 - 15 people and guarantee each other's loans. The key is trust. Members must know each other for the group guarantee to work. This group lending system enables FINCA to lend to people who ordinarily would not have access to credit due to a lack of collateral.
Individual collateralised loans starting at 1,000 USD are also available through FINCA's main office in Vake. The interest rate and terms for these loans are variable.
For additional information please contact FINCA at: Tel.: (995 32) 22 46 26 or 25 36 88/89.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC), the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) have formed a consortium to meet educational needs of displaced children from Chechnia currently residing in the Georgian villages: Jokolo, Duisi, and Omalo. The organisations are procuring textbooks, rehabilitating school buildings, and training volunteer teachers recruited from the refugee population.
From 1 to 9 February, Counterpart International donated food aid to 3,000 disabled persons and 545 veterans of World War II in Zugdidi. Meals ready to eat were delivered to 890 single lonely pensioners, 535 veterans, and 397 disabled persons in Khoni. In Tbilisi food was delivered to 500 Greek veterans of World War II.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has provided supply assistance to the Ministry of Health through procurement of essential hospital equipment. The supply, which included 25 incubators, 28 baby-warmers and 20 electrocardiograms, has been delivered to central, district and regional paediatric hospitals and maternity houses throughout the country. The equipment will ensure proper care for new-borns and the reduction of the neonatal mortality rate.
From 1 to 9 February, Counterpart International distributed medicines donated by World Vision to disabled persons in Terjola and to the Tbilisi children's TB dispensary. The Senaki regional hospital received a surgical table.
During December 1999, and January 2000, Technical Assistance in Georgia (TAG), within the framework of the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) funded primary healthcare programme, distributed essential and anti-flu medicines to the local and IDP populations in Zugdidi district, and held a training-seminar on cold-chain/immunisation for local and IDP medical personnel.
The organisation also finished rehabilitation of two ambulatories in the villages Tsaishi and Narazeni, started rehabilitation of children's and adults' polyclinic, and held a healthcare accessibility study in five villages of the Zugdidi district.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has published a new Briefing Note on Abkhazia, Georgia. The document covers current humanitarian and rehabilitation programmes in Abkhazia implemented by the donor community, UN agencies, international organisations, and international and local NGOs.
Copies of the Briefing Note are available at the OCHA office: 9, Eristavi St. UN House, Tbilisi.
The United Nations Association of Georgia (UNA) announces the launch of its new internet site at http://www.una.org.ge/. The page contains basic information about UNA - Georgia and some of its programmes. Also available online is "Refuge," the bi-monthly publication of UNA in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) at: http://www.una.org.ge/refuge/.
Produced by OCHA Georgia. For more information, please contact Ms. Nino Zhvania, Information Officer
Tel/Fax: 995-32-959516; Tel: 995-32-943163; e-mail: email@example.com
Contributions are welcome and should reach OCHA, 9 Eristavi St., Tbilisi by 12.00hrs. on 9th, 19th, and 29th of each month.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.