Russia

Islamic Relief Chechnya Update No. 6

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1. Agency Background
Islamic Relief is an international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that was established in Birmingham, UK in 1984. It seeks to promote sustainable economic and social development by working with local communities through relief and development Programmes. Our programmes are either development, emergency relief or orphan support in nature. Our core geographical focus areas Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bangladesh, Chechnya, Gaza Strip, Mali, India, Pakistan and Sudan.

We are members of the UN Economic and Social Council (special category), signatories to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGO's Disaster Relief and members of British Overseas NGOs for Development (BOND).

2. Islamic Relief in Chechnya

Islamic Relief's work in Chechnya began in 1997. IR has two registered offices, the first in Grozny and the second in Nalchik in the Karbardin Balkar Republic. Because we are registered in both the Russian Federation and Chechnya we have a unique ability to implement projects in the region with the permission of the Russian and Chechen authorities.

Due to the current conflict IR has had to suspend all its operations. Our field officer has also withdrawn to Nalchik. Some of our activities included the refurbishment of 13 school heating systems, the provision of four ambulances which could also be used as mobile clinic services, a computer training centre in Grozny which has been enormously popular, and the distribution emergency food aid. However,

3. The Present Crisis

  • Chechens are streaming into Ingushetia on a daily basis via cars, buses or on foot to escape the conflict
  • The refugees are streaming into Ingushetia at a rate of 4,000 a day.
  • The Ingush government have estimated that there are nearly 300,000 Chechen refugees within its borders. This figure includes unregistered refugees.
  • 'Caucasus-1' is the sole checkpoint allowing passage between the two territories, it is described as 'a slender and crowded humanitarian corridor to escape the conflict'
  • Refugees live outside in railway wagons and tented camps. More than one family is squeezed into one wagon.
  • Heavy snow has already blanketed the region thus the freezing conditions are compounding the harsh living conditions
    Many are suffering from numerous injuries and a lack of medical facilities.
  • The Ingush government is unable to cope with the situation due to the lack of experience, resources and support
4. Islamic Relief Plans

4.1 Chechnya Refugees Relief Programme - $1,748,006

  • The project aims to assist the most exposed refugees in Ingushetia who are living in the eight camps set up with a ten mile radius of the border
  • The project will provide the bare necessities to sustain life in the harsh environment through the provision of essential basic food, water and medical assistance

    The aims are :

  • To provide assistance to 4000 refugee families, (totalling approximately 20,000 people), by providing packs of essential food and non-food items, for a duration of up to six months
  • To supply provisions of clean water to 8 camps in the border region
  • To implement and maintain 4 mobile clinics equipped with medical facilities and staff to address the on site medical needs of refugees.
Without such provisions, large numbers of people will suffer from malnutrition, and disease. With the winter season already upon them, the need for swift action is paramount to prevent further hardship.

International assistance has so far been slow, IR would like to see more international agencies assisting with relief efforts.

4.2 Programme activities so far:

4.2.1

  • Over 55 tonnes of food has been purchased so far, worth nearly $20,000.
  • The food has been divided into 2590 food packets
  • Food packets consist of:
    Flour
    Sugar
    Vegetable oil
    Macaroni
    Tea
    Beans
    Salt

    Non-food item: Candles & matches

  • 15 water barrels have been purchased and another 15 have been ordered. Each has a 3 tonne capacity.
  • We are in the process of ordering other equipment such as the 4 mobile clinics, food distribution trucks and water carriers
  • We have secured the services of medical staff for the mobile clinics
  • We have staff in place at our offices in Nalchik and Nazran
  • We are in the process of compiling an expatriate team who should be in place by late-December whereupon full implementation of the CRRP 1 will begin.
4.3 Distribution so far:
  • 2,590 food packets each week are currently being distributed to the two camps of Sputnik and Severni, the biggest camps, consisting of 13,000 refugees altogether
  • 8 water barrels have distributed and another 7 to be distributed this week
5. Registration

IR has now obtained all the necessary licenses from Moscow , Ingushetia and the Karbadin-Balkar Republic
The final registration came from Altudav Y.K, first deputy Chairman of the Government in the Karbadin-Balkar Republic

6. Donor News

  • Human Concern International (HCI) a Canadian based organisation have now pledged $50,000 towards the CRRP
  • CAFOD have pledged to donate $50,000 towards the CRRP
  • IR Pakistan has raised $27,000
  • IR US has raised $300,000