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UN Georgia Information Bulletin for the period of 21-31 Jan 2000

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Organisations Facilitate De-institutionalisation of Children
Within the framework of the de-institutionalisation programme, the British NGO: European Children's Trust, the Georgian government and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) are implementing a joint, two-year project aimed at promoting the development of a childcare system that addresses the need of every child to grow up within a family.

In the first phase of the project, a survey is being conducted to collect statistical data on the number of institutions, the number of children in them, the reasons why these children are there and the amount of contact the children have with their parents. The main objective of the survey, implemented by the local NGO "Child and Environment," is to define how realistic it is for these children to return to their biological families. The survey will identify children who could potentially be placed in foster care if it is not possible to return them to their families.

The main tool for implementing the project is the integration of child-centred social work services into the Government's national strategy for children in need of public care. Within the framework of child-centred social work, 18 social workers will be trained to work with parents and children. Future social workers from Tbilisi, Telavi and Rustavi have already been selected through tender. Special training courses have been held in which participants were trained in the basic skills necessary for social work.

Danish Refugee Council Active in Georgia

In October 1999, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) opened its office in Georgia, namely in Kutaisi. The decision was taken after a two month period survey. The organisation concentrates its activities in western Georgia and focuses on income generation, community development, and capacity building.

The income generation programme envisages issuing loans to IDPs and vulnerable local persons. As a condition of receiving a loan from the DRC, the applicant should have attended business courses, be able to work out a functioning business loan, and to have an understanding of whether or not receiving a loan will assist the applicant and her/his family in improving their living conditions. In its assessment of business plans DRC favours production and service businesses, though trade businesses are also supported. To date, 5 business courses have been conducted by the Charity Humanitarian Centre Apkhazeti (CHCA) for 113 persons in Khoni and Samtredia, 31 business plans have been considered by the loan committee, and approximately USD 25,000 have been paid out as loans.

The DRC community development programme renders assistance to socio-cultural activities and initiatives aimed at improving the everyday life of groups of persons, especially IDPs and local vulnerables.

Within the framework of the capacity building programme DRC plans to cooperate with local NGOs and train a local partner to take over DRC activities in future. Establishment of an NGO centre for training-seminars, internetcafe, and library is also envisaged.

For additional information please contact: 4, Davitashvili St., Kutaisi. Tel.: 231 7 79 71; Fax: 231 7 04 90. E-mail: drc@sanetk.net.ge

ICRC Assists Chechen War Wounded

During December 1999, and January 2000, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) provided assistance to Chechen war wounded displaced to Georgia. ICRC doctors assisted in the identification and treatment of war wounded in the Georgian village of Shatili near the border with the Russian Federation. It provided the Shatili medical point with medicines as well. In addition, ICRC provided assistance to Chechen war wounded by performing an assessment of needs in Tbilisi's hospital #5 where some war wounded received additional care. ICRC also provided the hospital with medical and surgical supplies for the treatment of the war wounded. The value of the medicines and surgical supplies provided by ICRC in Shatili and Hospital #5 totals approximately 20 000 Swiss Francs. These activities were carried out in co-operation with the UNHCR, and Georgian authorities.

SECTORS

Education

With the support of the Nagano Olympic Committee, UNICEF delivered sport supplies to 19,834 IDP children with the overall objective of promoting healthy life styles and implementing psychosocial rehabilitation programmes in 27 primary schools countrywide.

Food

Counterpart International has distributed food to approximately 25,000 vulnerable persons Georgia-wide. Daily food assistance was provided to soup kitchens, boarding houses and charity houses in Khoni, Tbilisi and Sagarejo. Altogether, 4,550 persons were reached in theses areas. Individual food parcels were provided to 20,400 persons, primarily single pensioners, in Rustavi, Khashuri, Gori, Zugdidi, Senaki, Sagarejo, Ozurgeti, and the Imereti region.

Health

With the support of UNICEF, the Ministries of Health and Education initiated a three-year pilot project to establish a network of "health-promotion-schools" in Georgia. The main goal of the project is to ensure health promotion in schools through health education, creation of a safe environment and efficient health services.

Within the first phase of the project, which is currently underway, a coordination committee was set up with the participation of relevant experts from the Ministries of Health and Education, and UNICEF. Seven pilot schools in Tbilisi, Telavi, Akhaltsikhe and Kaspi were identified and a national programme for "health-promoting-schools" was elaborated. Future project steps envisage the introduction of the initiative in the selected pilot schools, formation of the national network and its integration into the European Network of "health-promoting-schools."

Counterpart International has distributed medicines donated by the World Vision to the Sagarejo children's clinic, Kutaisi polyclinic for IDPs, Terjola hospital, Tskhaltubo medical point for IDPs, Tsalka clinic, the A. A. Athens medical-diagnostic centre in Tbilisi, and the Gori city hospital.

Multi-sectoral Assistance to IDPs

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) has funded a seminar in Zugdidi for members of the Sakrebulos (municipal governments) and representatives from the IDP community. The project aims to form a common committee which will work on IDP issues and include their needs in the framework of the regional needs.

Shelter

Counterpart International has delivered clothing to 86 children at the Kojori boarding school and to 40 children at the Samtredia boarding school.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

On 31 January, the UN Security Council, "stressing that the lack of progress towards a comprehensive settlement of the conflict in Abkhazia, Georgia, was unacceptable and concerned by the continued volatility in the conflict zone, extended the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) until 31 July 2000".

Canadian Feed the Children (CFTC) is an international development and relief agency dedicated to alleviating the suffering and hunger of children around the world and in Canada. The organisation supports programmes that directly help children in need, while creating healthy environments within families and communities.

CFTC provides countries in need with vital commodities like food, medicine, clothing and seeds. This year, CFTC has a surplus of seeds available for donations.

CFTC would like to know if any agency is interested in receiving and distributing these seeds in Georgia. CFTC will pay for the shipping right up to the delivery/warehousing point. These seeds (grade A) will be inspected by Agriculture Canada to verify that they free of pests and mold. They are also provided for market '99 and have excellent germination rate.

Interested organisations will receive more detailed information on seeds, which are a mixture of a broad variety of vegetables, herbs, and flower.

For further information please contact Ms. Irina Baghdasaryan, CFTC Caucasus Desk Programme Manager at: Tel.: 1 (416) 757-1536 ext. 246 or e-mail: irina@canadianfeedthechildren.ca

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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