Russia

Freezing temperatures threaten Chechen refugees...

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Freezing winter temperatures will put the lives of thousands of Chechen refugees at risk unless urgent action is taken, World Vision warns.
More than 200,000 refugees have fled Chechnya for Ingushetia most of them living in tents.

World Vision's partner in the Ingushetia Red Crescent Liza Omarkhadjeieva described the situation as grave.

"The biggest problem is food. There just isn't enough. We also need clothing and shelter," she said.

Forty-six refugees have already died in the camps; thirty-eight of these were children.

In a recent visit to the camps in Ingushetia, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata said that more help is needed to avoid a possible catastrophe. However, instability caused by the conflict and security threats to international personnel have slowed the relief response.

World Vision has provided an initial $US20,000 for food aid, shoes, primary health care and child trauma counselling and expects to make further cash injections.

Procurement of the food aid has begun and distribution is set to begin the first week of December.

Support needy Chechen refugees. Phone World Vision New Zealand on 0800 80 2000