Russia

OCHA Humanitarian action in Chechnya and Neighbouring Republics (Russian Federation) Jun 2005

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HIGHLIGHTS

Russian Government and Donor Countries Agree that Humanitarian Aid provided by the UN and Partners Will Continue in 2006

On 29 June 2005 in Moscow the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator presented the Mid-Year Review of the 2005 Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Chechnya and Neighboring Republics. The United Nations and non-governmental organizations appealed for over US $67 million for their humanitarian operation in 2005. Donors to date have provided over 50% of that amount, making the CAP for Chechnya and Neighboring Republics the third best funded in the world.

The operation is covering urgent humanitarian needs and assisting community recovery in the North Caucasus. Government representatives praised the assistance of humanitarian organizations through the CAP to alleviate suffering in the region. Together with donors, UN agencies, and NGOs, they agreed to link continued humanitarian action with efforts to combat unemployment and other socio-economic problems. The need for humanitarian aid in the region is expected to remain roughly equal in 2006 to what it is today. The UN, non-governmental organizations and donors are committed to providing humanitarian aid as long as there is a need for it. In addition, these organizations will continue in 2006 to explore ways in which they can complement government plans for long-term economic and infrastructure development of the region.

UN and Partners Hold the First Humanitarian and Development Forum

On June 17 OCHA chaired the first Humanitarian and Development Forum, a monthly meeting of assistance partners addressing current programs in the North Caucasus, humanitarian policy and transition issues, as well as other questions of general concern to the aid community. Under the new format of the Humanitarian and Development Forum, the thematic discussion will alternate monthly between development and relief-oriented topics. The past month's topic followed a development theme.

A representative of UNDP made a presentation on UNDP's current programs and future plans in the North Caucasus. The current political situation in the region is one rife with unemployment and the Government has noted need for economic solutions. UNDP began work in the region with a series of assessments and several pilot projects in Ingushetia and North Ossetia. UNDP also chairs regular economic recovery working group meetings. The UNDP representative said that UNDP's programs are focused on recovery, but they are closely linked with those of humanitarian partners.

A representative of the All-Russian Center for Study of Public Opinion presented the findings of a recent public opinion poll in the North Caucasus that had been ordered by the Plenipoteniary's office in the Southern Okrug. The survey, which covered Dagestan, Ingushetia and North Ossetia but excluded Chechnya, found that the biggest problem as perceived among the population is unemployment. The majority of people employed work with state or municipal entities, and the majority of people rely on the state for social support. When asked about the priorities of the federal center, the majority of respondents cited job creation and decreasing corruption.

HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

Protection

As of 30 June 2005, a total of 31,048 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Chechnya (6,925 families) were registered for assistance in Ingushetia in the database of UNHCR s implementing partner, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC). Of this total, 11,512 persons (2,498 families) were in temporary settlements, and 19,536 persons (4, 427 families) in private accommodation. In the period 1-30 June, Vesta, who monitors the Adler and Spartak checkpoints, reported individual returns of 181 persons (42 families) from Ingushetia to Chechnya and new arrivals of 18 persons (4 families) from Chechnya to Ingushetia. During June, 230 persons (46 families) were de-registered by DRC in Ingushetia and registered for assistance in Chechnya.

During June, the legal counselling centers of UNHCR's partners provided 198 consultations to IDPs in Ingushetia and 244 consultations in Chechnya. Memorial is following up on the disappearance cases of five IDPs who were reported by the Ingushetia Ministry of Interior to have been detained by law enforcement officials from the Chechen Republic. These cases have reached the stage of pre-trial preparation, while for a sixth case a preliminary appeal on a court decision was submitted to the Supreme Court of Ingushetia.

UNHCR monitors interviewed 7 Chechen families (22 persons) who returned to Chechnya from the Pankisi Gorge in Georgia on 28 May. They were accommodated in two TACs in Grozny. The interviewed families stated that their return was voluntary, without any undue pressure from the Georgian or Russian authorities. Among their reasons for return, they mentioned lack of jobs and language problems (education in Georgian schools being in the Georgian language).

Food

In June, WFP continued implementation of the main programmes: relief distribution and food fund activities, including food for work, food for training, TB and Dining Hall projects. Due to school summer holidays the school feeding programme is suspended till September. WFP programmes were implemented in Ingushetia and Chechnya through CI, CPCD, CPHC, DRC, HWA, IMC, IR, MSF-Holland, OC, PIN, Serlo, WHO, and WVRF. During June, some 1,570 tons of WFP-supplied food commodities were distributed to over 167,700 beneficiaries under two programmes implemented during summer months. From 7 to 10 June, WFP conducted a School Principals' Annual Workshop in Nazran for over 390 principals from the primary and secondary schools, pre-schools and boarding institutions participating in the WFP school feeding programme in Chechnya. Representatives of the Chechen government and NGO cooperating partners participated in the event, as well. The aim of the workshop was to evaluate the achievements of the programme during the past school year, as well as to discuss the future plans for the school feeding programme for the school year 2005/2006. Special attention during the workshop was given to community mobilization initiatives within the school feeding programme and the ways to integrate it into the next year programme.

Due to gaps in funding, within the next six months WFP will not be able to ensure regular provision of some commodities, such as wheat flour, rice, buckwheat, sugar, salt and high-energy biscuits. To support the current emergency project till the end of December 2005, WFP will have to urgently mobilize the remaining 33% (some 5,970 tons for US$ 3.3 mln) of the funding required for the completion of the programme.

Shelter

During June, UNHCR provided 18 box-tents to IDP families voluntarily returning to Chechnya, bringing the total since the beginning of the program to 977 units for Chechnya. Another 9 box-tents were provided to IDP families who choose to remain in Ingushetia, bringing the total in Ingushetia to 487.

Health

WHO prepared the first part of the assessment report on selected health facilities in nine districts (Achkhoi-Martan, Argun, Grozny-Selsky, Gudermes, Kurchaloi, Nozhai-Yurt, Shali, Urus-Martan and Vedeno) of Chechnya for 2005. The report provides a qualitative and quantitative assessment of current conditions and problems of these health facilities, and is aimed at providing the basis for the strategic plan to restore and develop the health sector in the Chechen republic.

WHO funded participation of the assistant Minister of Health of Chechnya in the training session of "Health Information Management in Crises" taking place in Tashkent.

Within its Expanded Pprogramme of Immunization, UNICEF conducted the follow-up monitoring of 153,000 disposable syringes (1ml and 2ml) that were distributed in Chechnya and Ingushetia in May. According to the monitoring findings, out of this amount, 108,000 syringes were distributed to pediatric and Mother and Child Health facilities (children's policlinics, maternity wards, vaccination centres and health posts) located in all 17 district hospitals inside Chechnya. Another 45,000 syringes were distributed to vaccination rooms and vaccination centres located in 6 health care facilities (at the district and town level) in Ingushetia.

UNICEF, in partnership with Hammer Forum (HF), also continued to implement its Mother Empowerment Programme. Two training teams targeted pregnant women, lactating mothers and mothers with under-5 aged children on issues related to breastfeeding, immunization, and the early recognition of common childhood illnesses as well as HIV/STI prevention. During the reporting period, special training sessions were conducted in TACs on Koshevogo and Mayakovskogo streets in Grozny, thus covering 288 beneficiaries. In Ingushetia, 180 women were targeted in Galashki, Berd-Yurt, and Chemulga villages through similar activities.

Education

UNICEF, jointly with four implementing partners (HWA, CPCD, IRC and PIN) and with technical assistance from the Ingush MoE, completed a new assessment of all 28 'parallel' IDP schools, which were hosting some 2,402 IDP children by the end of the last school year. The objective of the assessment was to make an inventory of the existing schools and their equipment, with a view, inter alia, to determine the most appropriate way to absorb the 454 children who were enrolled in 10 schools managed by UNICEF through PIN (the latteris in the process of closing down its operation in the NC). These children will be accommodated either in the remaining IDP schools or in regular schools in Ingushetia, while the school education materials and equipment, together with some box tent, are being handed over to four villages in Urus-Martanovsky and Groznensky Districts (Chechnya), where the capacity of the existing school buildings is seriously inadequate. Meanwhile, within its 2005 school rehabilitation programme, UNICEF conducted a detailed assessment of 22 schools and 4 kindergartens (identified jointly with the Chechen MoE) and defined the scope of the rehabilitation work that would be undertaken this summer. At least 15 education facilities will be selected for rehabilitation by UNICEF and NGOs during the second half of the year.

Water and Sanitation

Within the framework of the project for water purification and distribution in Grozny, which is implemented by UNICEF in cooperation with the Polish Humanitarian Organization (PHO), the total water delivery capacity in Grozny reached 709.8 cubic metres per day. The total daily water delivery capacity has been slightly decreased due to withdrawal of some water tanks from schools for disinfection treatment, as per local sanitary standards. About 105,000 residents of Grozny have been regularly served with safe drinking water by 20 trucks through 262 water distribution points, which are located in health care and educational facilities, TACs and residential areas. About 90 water control tests were conducted by the SES during the month to ensure the quality of the water delivered.

UNICEF continued its hygiene and sanitation education activities, in cooperation with the republican SES and the City Education Department of Grozny. This programme promotes safer hygiene practices and healthier life styles among families and communities in TACs in Grozny, and targets a total of 1,218 persons. The programme is assisted by SES specialists who managed 44 training sessions for beneficiaries, including 550 children, in three TACs located on Derzhavina Street, Kirova Street, and Viborgskaya Street. As for the activities conducted in schools, hygiene and sanitary education was carried out as part of the summer extracurricular activities, targeting children involved in summer schools camps and other activities.

Mine Action

At the initiative of UNICEF Landmines and Small Arms Team (Office of Emergency Programmes, New York), an international course on 'Field Epidemiology for Mine Action' took place on 13-24 June 2005 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina -. In a follow up to this training, UNICEF Nazran, which was represented by its Mine Action Assistant, will shortly organize specific training events for its partners, including government officials, to share the newly-acquired knowledge in organizing and conducting surveys and assessments. UNICEF, through its implementing partner 'Voice of the Mountains', completed a training on mine/UXO data gathering for 15 monitors in 15 districts of Chechnya, as a part of a new surveillance system based on 15 'letter boxes'. Two new mine/UXO incidents were registered by 'letter-boxes' during the reporting period in Naur and Samashki villages in Chechnya. Two adults were reportedly killed. In the framework of its survivor assistance programme, UNICEF is in the process of opening six new leisure centers for mine/UXO survivors and other disabled children. The necessary materials and equipment are being procured by UNICEF's field office. Meanwhile, UNICEF continued to enhance the provision of physical rehabilitation to disabled children, through the provision of additional equipment to the Republican Clinical Hospital in Grozny. During the reporting period, some 24 children received physical rehabilitation treatment at the hospital.

Funding of the Humanitarian Operation

From the date of the last Information Bulletin until the date of this Bulletin donors recorded the following new contributions in the Financial Tracking System (FTS):

Description
Decision date
Donor Country
Appealing Agency
Amount in USD
Strengthening health services in Chechnya at primary health care level with the focus on reduction of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS
30.06.2005
Norway World Health Organization
$300,000
Sustainable Reintegration and Recovery in the North Caucasus (Ingushetia and North Ossetia)
16.06.2005
Allocations of unearmarked funds by UN agencies United Nations Development Programme
$1,400,000
Food aid
14.06.2005
Canada World Food Programme
$130,394
Food aid
14.06.2005
United States World Food Programme
$1,360,100
Food aid
14.06.2005
European Commission World Food Programme
$34,061
Food aid
14.06.2005
European Commission World Food Programme
$1,877,055
Awaiting allocation to specific project/sector [REEPRESENTS CURRENT ALLOCATION BY UNHCR FROM UNEARMARKED OR BROADLY EARMARKED CONTRIBUTIONS]
03.06.2005
Allocations of unearmarked funds by UN agencies United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
$261,971
Supply basic needs for IDPs and refugees
01.06.2005
Netherlands Action Contre la Faim
$649,937
TOTAL:
$6,013,518

Readers requiring more detailed information on funding of the humanitarian operation in the North Caucasus are encouraged to visit the FTS using the following link: http://ocha.unog.ch/fts/reports/reportlist.asp?section=CE&record_ID=656.

FTS is an on-line, real-time, searchable database of humanitarian needs and contributions and an instrument for analysis of humanitarian aid flows.

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