Russia

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


HIGHLIGHTS

UN and NGOs Launch 2006 Interagency Transitional Workplan for the North Caucasus

On 7 December 2005 in Moscow, the United Nations together with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) presented the 2006 Inter-Agency Transitional Workplan for the North Caucasus for humanitarian and development assistance in five North Caucasus republics (Chechnya, Ingushetia, North Ossetia, Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria). The Transitional Workplan outlines the programs that 9 UN agencies and 13 NGOs intend to carry out in 2006. To conduct these projects the UN and NGOs are requesting some US $88 million. Humanitarian needs in the North Caucasus remain serious and analysis indicates that the humanitarian situation neither deteriorated nor significantly improved in 2005. At the same time, poverty is widespread in the region and the need for socioeconomic development is clear. Therefore, the UN and partner NGOs will conduct a range of assistance projects in humanitarian relief and development simultaneously for several years.

Proposed Changes to Russian NGO Legislation Seen As Possible Barrier to International Aid Efforts

Throughout November, the international aid community was very much concerned about the changes to be made to the current Russian legislation on NGOs under a corresponding draft law adopted by the Duma in the first reading on 23 November 2005. Adding on to the multiple voices of various international and domestic organizations and rights activists the UN Resident Coordinator and the Humanitarian Coordinator on behalf of the UN system in the Russian Federation shared with Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Public and Religious Organizations, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Presidential Council for Development of Civil Society and Human Rights some practical constraints and problems that the law, if passed, could cause for the humanitarian- and development-assistance community. The magnitude of public response to the proposed amendments was such that President Putin asked the Duma to slow its consideration of the draft, and assigned the head of his Administration to closely review all the various comments and concerns submitted to the Duma and Government officials by parties concerned to better prepare the draft law for the second reading by the Duma scheduled for December 23, 2005.

HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

Protection

As of 30 November 2005, a total of 26,883 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Chechnya (6,107 families) were registered for assistance in Ingushetia in the database of UNHCR’s implementing partner, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC). Of this total, 10,294 persons (2,263 families) were in temporary settlements, and 16,589 persons (3,844 families) in private accommodation. From 1-30 November, Vesta, who monitors the Adler and Spartak checkpoints, reported individual returns of 76 persons (15 families) from Ingushetia to Chechnya and new arrivals of 28 persons (5 families) from Chechnya to Ingushetia. During November, 154 persons (33 families) were de-registered by DRC in Ingushetia and registered for assistance in Chechnya.

During November, the 11 UNHCR-supported legal counseling centers (LCCs) in Ingushetia and Chechnya provided 463 consultations, bringing the total for the year to more than 5,700. Most of the cases in Ingushetia continued to be related to the deregistration by the migration services of IDPs formerly benefiting from federal assistance. In Chechnya, the primary concerns of IDPs were property, social and employment rights. In addition to providing IDPs legal counseling and information on their rights, the LCCs also represent IDPs before governmental structures and courts of law. In November, they presented 127 cases to administrative and law enforcement structures, 75 cases to courts of first instance, and 8 cases to second instance courts.

Food

In November, WFP jointly with cooperating partners DRC, CHA and IR started the 10th relief distribution cycle in Ingushetia and reached during the month some 7,957 target beneficiaries residing in the republic. In Chechnya the 10th distribution cycle was also started at the end of November in Groznenski rural district where through IR about 111 tons of WFP’s food commodities were distributed among 11,046 beneficiaries. In November the food for education programme continued in 411 schools covering 129,173 school children. During the reported period WFP through its cooperating partners provided 470 tons of food commodities for continuation of the programme. In November 546 participants (representing 2,730 beneficiaries) continued implementation of Food for Work (FFW) projects for improvement of local infrastructure. During the second half of November WFP through its cooperating partner CHA distributed some 17 tons of food to 154 participants (770 beneficiaries) for the works implemented in October. The rest FFW participants will receive food in December. Within the Food for Training programme 25 trainees continued attending vocational courses in hairdressing and manicuring in Grozny city. WFP also provided the Dining Hall project which assists about 1,600 vulnerable people in Grozny, with 13 tons of food. About 20 tons of food were provided to 640 TB in- and out patients covered by TB projects implemented by MSF-Holland in Chechnya and WHO in Ingushetia.

As of the end of November, donations reached about 84 per cent of the funding required for the completion of the programme in December 2005. The WFP office is currently in the process of preparing the follow-up 12 months project EMOP 10128.2, starting from January 2006. Within the next six months WFP expects considerable shortfalls of food commodities, unless resources are mobilized soon.

Shelter

During November, UNHCR provided 14 box-tents to IDP families voluntarily returning to Chechnya and 16 to IDP families choosing to remain in Ingushetia. With some corrections to earlier reporting, this brought the total distributions to families since the beginning of the program to 1,114 in Chechnya and 582 in Ingushetia. Another 27 box tents have been provided to partners in Chechnya, Ingushetia and North Ossetia for temporary schools, child rehabilitation centers, medical points and other facilities.

In Ingushetia, through its partner Vesta, UNHCR undertook interventions to improve the conditions of 4 temporary settlements sheltering IDPs from Chechnya and Prigorodny. These interventions are part of a comprehensive “winterization” program involving several international and local NGOs and targeting more than 40 sites. At the same time, 40 IDP families from Chechnya and Prigorodny wishing to integrate in Ingushetia have continued to build permanent houses with the support of UNHCR through DRC. In 29 out of the 40 houses, the walls have been completed, while in 19 the construction has reached the roofing stage.

In Chechnya, the distribution by DRC of UNHCR-funded roofing kits (timber, nails and corrugated metal sheets) to 746 families was completed, and the roofs of 188 houses were covered.

To support sustainable (re-)integration, UNHCR and its partners initiated 5 new quick impact projects (QIPs) in Ingushetia and 1 in Chechnya, bringing the total for 2005 to 21 in Ingushetia and 55 in Chechnya. In Ingushetia most of the QIPs are targeted for income-generation and family resilience, whereas in Chechnya they are largely devoted to income-generation and the repair of small-scale public infrastructure.

The IRC continued the rehabilitation of rooms in 10 temporary settlements in Ingushetia. The maintenance and rehabilitation works such as walls repairing, flooring, roofing, painting, electrification, gasification, concrete works were also continued at temporary settlements “MTF” in Nasir Kort; “Sunzha” and “Barkhni” in Sleptsovskaya,

In Chechnya the rehabilitation works on 100 2nd category houses were going on. The distribution of materials and construction works in 20 houses in Oktyabrskiy region of Grozny were finished. 2 of them were rehabilitated by IRC workers. 95 3rd category houses were also in the process of rehabilitation. The distribution of materials and construction works in 28 houses in Oktyabrskiy region of Grozny were finished. 2 of them were rehabilitated by IRC workers. 10 families occupied their houses. The roof rehabilitation works of TAC #119 in Grozny were finished. The project is closed.

Health

15 November WHO joined the mission of the Norwegian Ambassador in Russia to Grozny, visiting among other locations the Republican AIDS center supported by WHO. The Norwegian Ambassador took part in the donation of WHO-designed and produced 1200 HIV booklets and HIV test-systems to the Republican AIDS center. In addition, WHO donated a set of latest presentations, information and learning material and state regulations on various HIV issues produced by the Federal AIDS center.

WHO sponsored and facilitated participation of five epidemiologists from Chechen and Ingush AIDS centres in certified training course on HIV at the Moscow Federal HIV centre from 7-25 November. WHO purchased and distributed 10500 condoms to the Republican AIDS center in Chechnya.

WHO Implementing partner “Accent” under the Mother and Child Health project concluded the survey of selected groups of 1200 residents (16-49 years) in the Republic of North Ossetia on risk behaviours related to HIV/AIDS and substance abuse, carried out by WHO in September-October 2005. The survey revealed a high degree of awareness in the population on the issue of HIV/AIDS and the recognition that it is a socially important disease. The HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns of the previous years conducted through a variety of international and national organisations in the republic have greatly contributed to this effect. Nevertheless, the results also reveal a lack of in-depth knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases in general, possibly due to the reluctance in this community to discuss freely about sexual matters and the stigma related to being infected.

From 21 November -- 1 December, WHO held a training course on IMCI for 30 paediatricians in Vladikavkaz/North Ossetia -- Alania. Another such training was held from 21 November -- 1 December for 20 medical workers in Nadterechny district of Chechnya.

UNICEF continued to implement its Mother Empowerment Programme (MEP), in cooperation with the NGO Hammer Forum (HF), the Ingush Republican Disease Prevention Centre and Achkhoi-Martan’s Central District Hospital (Chechnya). The programme is aimed at raising mothers’ awareness on important child health care issues, including breastfeeding and immunization, as well as at training them on better parental care and issues related to the early recognition of common childhood illnesses. During the reporting period, HF training teams targeted 432 pregnant women, lactating mothers and mothers with under-5 children living in Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) located in Ponyatkova 11 Street in Grozny. In Ingushetia, 288 women residing in three IDP temporary settlements in Malgobek districts were also covered by HF. In Achkhoi-Martan district, 560 women attended MEP training sessions held in Achkhoi-Martan town, 320 women in Katir-Yurt, 210 women in Valerik, and 110 women in Samashki divisional hospital. The Ingush Republican Centre for Disease Prevention also conducted training sessions in Sleptsovskaya and Troitskaya and targeted 850 beneficiaries. In parallel, UNICEF also conducted distribution of 300 MEP brochures to health professionals, 13,840 Breast Feeding brochures to MEP training participants, and 30,000 medical registration forms to the Chechen Ministry of Health during the reporting period.

In the Chechen Republic, IRC continued to work towards improving the health outcomes of war-affected mothers and children in Grozny and provided weekly training and psychosocial counselling for a total of 48 pregnant women in schools Nos. 23 and 53, and began to recruit additional pregnant women for training during the month of December. Safe motherhood kits were distributed to all participants at the end of the training.

In Grozny, the IRC conducted psychosocial counselling in closed and open group sessions to 56 and 50 children, respectively. Individual counselling was provided to 20 of the most vulnerable children, 20 parents and 15 teachers. In Ingushetia, the IRC also provided counselling in closed and open groups for 134 and 112 children, respectively. 24 children, 30 parents and 13 teachers attended individual counselling. Information meetings for parents and teachers addressing psychosocial needs of children were held in both republics. In Grozny, a total of 40 parents and 10 teachers attended these meetings, while in Ingushetia, 191 parents and 24 teachers were present.

Education

UNICEF is completing the rehabilitation of 10 schools and 2 kindergartens in Chechnya. A joint team of UNICEF and MoE specialists, accompanied by an independent civil engineer, started the final inspection procedure, so as to ensure the compliance of the scope and quality of the work to UNICEF’s standards and to the technical requirements of the federal legislation. The rehabilitation of 4 additional schools, undertaken by UNICEF in partnership with CPCD, is still underway, due to some delays generated by the security measures applied to most education buildings in preparation of the recent elections. In total, UNICEF supported the rehabilitation of 16 schools and 2 kindergartens in 2005 (16 in Chechnya, 1 in Ingushetia and 1 in Prigorodny district, North Ossetia).

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) informal psychosocial activities group along with 30 local Sports Club volunteers organized sports competitions in football, basketball, volleyball, chess, checkers in 10 schools throughout Chechnya; 340 students participated and 580 students attended. Additionally, on average, 3 youth clubs worked at each school and 568 persons attended them. Parents’ Committee meetings were held at each school and attended by 37 teachers and 134 parents.

In the Republic of Ingushetia out of total 847 children in 10 “parallel” schools managed by IRC, 635 children attended physical training classes at the Sports Center. Additionally, 380 children and youth from all IRC schools in Ingushetia were taught dancing, drama and vocals at three Art studios and the Sports Center.

155 children of preschool age participated in playgroups at psychosocial centers in Ingushetia 4 days a week, either in two or one 4-hour sessions a day.

Water and Sanitation

Within the framework of the water purification and distribution project, which is implemented by UNICEF in Grozny in cooperation with the Polish Humanitarian Organization (PHO), the total water delivery capacity reached 852 cubic metres per day. About 115,000 residents of Grozny have been regularly served with safe drinking water, which has been transported by 20 trucks on 4-routes-per-day basis to 250 water distribution points, located in 34 medical facilities, 51 educational facilities, 7 TACs and 158 points in residential areas. About 90 water control tests (all positive) were conducted by the Sanitary and Epidemiological Station (SES) during the reporting time to ensure the quality of the water delivered, as well as to monitor the disinfection and treatment of the machinery and equipment.

In Ingushetia, the IRC continued to provide water and sanitation services to the war-affected community. 4670m3 of water were delivered to 61 temporary settlements, 3 points in the private sector and 2 public institutions, using 6 UNHCR water trucks and 2 rental water trucks. 2133m3 of garbage were removed from 99 temporary settlements, 7 public institutions, using 6 UNHCR garbage trucks. 1529m3 of sewage were removed from 99 temporary settlements. 20 water samples were taken from water tanks. 1 water point was maintained. 1 water tank was installed.

The works on water tanks insulation were started. 32 metal water tanks were insulated. It is planned to finish the works on insulation in the middle of December, 2005. Also the works on insulation of metal water tanks and boilers of the baths were started. 5 metal water tanks and 3 boilers were insulated. These works also planned to finish in the middle of December, 2005.

The IRC also continued to deliver water and sanitation services to the war-affected population of Chechnya. 6031m3 of water were delivered to 108 water points in Grozny using 8 rental water trucks. 1440m3 of garbage were collected according to transport manager’s schedule using 3 rental garbage trucks. 25% of all water storage tanks were checked daily. 29 water bladders and 48 water tanks were treated and cleaned. Pest control was conducted in 6 hospitals in Oktyabrskiy region of Grozny.

Mine Action

Within its physical rehabilitation programme for children with disabilities, UNICEF supported a one-month orthopedic training for a doctor from Grozny’s Republican Clinical Hospital (RCH) in St. Petersburg (Russian Scientific Research Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics). A10-day training has also been organized for two doctors from the same hospital at the Medical Institute in Moscow. The RCH provides treatment to all children in need of specialized medical assistance.

UNICEF also continued to promote the socio-economic reintegration of the most vulnerable children through its vocational trainings on carpentry, tailoring, computing and football. During the reporting period, 60 children have been attending courses run by the Society for the Disabled, Grozny’s Technical College and VoM. A UNICEF-supported football team of disabled boys participated in the National Championship for football for the disabled, which was held in Moscow from 26 November through 4 December. UNICEF team was recognized as the best: Mr. Lunacharskiy, the President of the Federation of Football for the Disabled of Russia, and Mr. Kiyanskiy, the General Secretary of the Federation, sent a letter expressing their gratitude to UNICEF for its continuous support to the “Laman Az” team, and informing the organization that three members of the team will be playing for the national team of disabled in 2006.

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
26.10.2005
Finland
International Committee of the Red Cross
216,346
Emergency food assistance to vulnerable households in the North Caucasus
31.10.2005
Private
World Food Programme
8,288
Emergency food assistance to vulnerable households in the North Caucasus
31.10.2005
Private
World Food Programme
30,000
Emergency food assistance to vulnerable households in the North Caucasus
31.10.2005
United States
World Food Programme
1,860,000
Strengthening primary health care provision through communicable disease control
17.11.2005
United States
World Health Organization
500,000
22.11.2005
Germany
AMICA e.V
22,927
5.12.2005
United Kingdom
International Committee of the Red Cross
1,032,702
Humanitarian Coordination
5.12.2005
United Kingdom
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
602,410
Awaiting allocation to specific sector/project
5.12.2005
United Kingdom
Danish Refugee Council
172,117
Safety and Security of Staff and Operations
5.12.2005
United Kingdom
UNDP/UNDSS
602,410
Sustainable Reintegration and Recovery in the North Caucasus (Ingushetia and North Ossetia)
5.12.2005
Norway
UNDP
1,139,613
Emergency food assistance to vulnerable households in the North Caucasus
5.12.2005
United Kingdom
World Food Programme
344,234
9.12.2005
European Commission (ECHO)
UN Agencies, NGOs and Red Cross (details not yet provided)
7,058,824
TOTAL :
13,589,871

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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