Chechnya: Action Against Hunger's field workers begin food distribution

immediate release
The international organisation Action Against Hunger has launched an emergency food distribution to bring assistance to nearly 30,000 displaced people in Assinovskaia and Sernovodsk, towns situated in Western Chechenya, near the Inguchetia border.

The first part of the programme began in Assinovskaia yesterday and will continue for a week. It will benefit 15,900 displaced people, including 1,500 persons who have fled the recent bombings in Komsomolskoe, in South Chechnya.

In total, the team will distribute nearly 168 tons of food comprised of flour, rice ,corned-beef, oil, salt and sugar. This distribution will cover the nutritional needs of each family for 2 weeks and will be renewed over the next two months.

Hygiene products will also be distributed. Many displaced people are suffering from skin diseases due to extremely poor hygiene conditions.

Having been forced to flee the fighting, their homes and villages, displaced people are surviving in desperate conditions.

Many have found refuge in host families who have to struggle to meet their own needs. These host families do not receive any external assistance.

Other displaced people are living in collective centres with no sanitation installations (abandoned farms, schools and disaffected wagons). They receive minimal assistance.

In Sernovodsk, Action Against Hunger's distribution will take place at the end of the month and will benefit 15,000 displaced people.

Through this programme, the first large scale direct food distribution carried out by a non governmental organisation in Chechnya, Action Against Hunger will bring assistance to all the displaced people in Assinovskaia and Sernovodsk.

For more information and/or interviews, please contact Sophie Noonan/ Helen Farquharson - 0171-831 5858
1, Catton Street -London WC1R 4AB -Tel: + 44 171 831 5858/Fax: + 44 171 831 4259
Action Against Hunger has offices in Paris, New-York and Madrid