Russia + 3 more

CWS Hotline - Week of Dec 13, 1999: Chechnya, Vietnam, Balkans

CHECHNYA - Thousands are seeking safety following a Russian military warning last week, announcing plans to begin an assault on the Chechen capital of Grozny on December 11, in an attempt to gain control of the capital by the New Year. Some 200,000 Chechens displaced by Russian military air strikes and artillery shelling across the region have fled to nearby Georgia, Ingushetia, Daghestan, and North Ossetia. With the onset of winter, many of the refugees face harsh conditions, and are suffering from lack of shelter, food, and medical care. Church World Service is seeking $125,000 to assist Action by Churches Together (ACT) in meeting emergency needs in the Chechnya region with blankets, food items, medical aid, sanitation supplies, shelter, and trauma counseling.
VIETNAM - Torrential rains dumped over six feet of water in central Vietnam last week, leaving at least 114 dead, destroying over 5,000 homes, and damaging nearly 400,000 homes. Some 1 million people have been affected by the rains, most of whom are still trying to recovery from last month's devastating floods, which killed approximately 600 people. Church World Service Vietnam representative Skip Dangers is assessing the situation, and is planning short- and long-term response efforts. More information will be shared as it is available.

BALKANS - In a recent letter, Bread of Life in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, thanked CWS for a shipment of 10,000 CWS Blankets to assist refugees from Kosovo and the surrounding region, saying "...the blankets are of good quality and came at a time when they are needed most. We have begun to distribute them to refugees..." At least 2,600 families are benefitting from the Blanket shipment.

Relief and recovery efforts continue in Kosovo. CWS, as part of the ACT consortium, is helping to provide winterized shelter, school reconstruction, food and material aid, water sanitation, landmine clearing, social community development, and food security. ACT is working to provide an additional 1,000 prefabricated shelters, along with wood stoves and firewood to the most vulnerable families whose homes were destroyed in the conflict. An additional 2,000 woodstoves with firewood are going to families already with shelter. ACT is also establishing a winterized camp, using 50 of the prefabricated shelters, for a group of 50 Roma families camped north of Mitrovica.