Russia

OCHA Humanitarian action in Chechnya and Neighbouring Republics (Russian Federation) May 2006

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published


HIGHLIGHTS
TACIS funding for the North Caucasus programmes

President Putin and European Union leaders came close to signing the long-delayed agreement on the use of 20 million Euros offered for the North Caucasus by the EC TACIS program. The EC has identified UNDP, UNICEF, and WHO as recipient agencies to implement projects in health, education, and small and medium enterprise development. This funding, when released, will be the most significant new development-assistance funding for the recovery side of the North Caucasus Transitional Workplan.

Update to the 2006 Inter-Agency Transitional Workplan

Aid community with OCHA’s facilitation started revising the humanitarian and recovery strategy laid out in the 2006 Transitional Workplan for the North Caucasus. Unlike past CAP Mid-Year Review documents, the purpose of the Update is to reflect major changes that have occurred or will be made to the transitional assistance program and coordination mechanisms in 2006. This process will also contribute to the international community’s fundraising, and also for initiating dialogue with all stakeholders on the way ahead in 2007. The structure of the document is also slightly different this year. The document will focus on four “key issues”: security and access in Chechnya, changes in the food security and agriculture sector, IDP return, and partnerships and opportunities for economic growth. The Launch of the document is planned for the July 5, 2006 in Moscow.

Donor Mission to the North Caucasus

On 30 May OCHA arranged a mission for ECHO to visit Achkhoi-Martan, Urus-Martan, Goiskoe and Shami-Yurt Districts of Chechnya. During the mission the sites of HELP Greenhousing Project, World Vision Sheep Breeding Project and IMC Bakery and Cattle Breeding Farm Project were visited.

HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

Protection

As of 31 May 2006, a total of 23,475 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Chechnya (5,364 families) were registered for assistance in Ingushetia in the database of UNHCR's implementing partner, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC). Of this total, 8,825 persons (1,951 families) were in temporary settlements, and 14,650 persons (3,413 families) in private accommodation. From 1-31 May, Vesta, who monitors the Adler and Spartak checkpoints, reported individual returns of 94 persons (20 families) from Ingushetia to Chechnya and new arrivals of 29 persons (5 families) from Chechnya to Ingushetia. During May, 142 persons (28 families) were de-registered by DRC in Ingushetia and registered for assistance in Chechnya.

In Chechnya, the governmental commission tasked to verify the housing conditions of all temporary accommodation center (TAC) residents continued to screen IDPs residing in TACs. While the Migration Department assured UNHCR that no more TACs would be closed, local administrations in several districts of Grozny were reported to have advised residents of the imminent obligation to vacate their TAC rooms. Concerned that alternative accommodation might not always be available, and thus the principle of voluntary return jeopardized, UNHCR wrote to the President of Chechnya to seek clarification.

During May, the 11 UNHCR-supported legal counselling centres (LCCs) in Chechnya and Ingushetia provided 530 consultations to IDPs and other citizens in the two republics. This brings total consultations in 2006 to 2,580, out of which 81% in the 9 LCCs in Chechnya. The general trend continued, with civil cases largely related to documentation, housing and property issues, compensation and disputes with the migration authorities on IDP entitlements. In Ingushetia, an increased number of requests for legal assistance were received from forced migrants originating from the disputed areas of Prigorodny. Criminal cases, including abductions, disappearances, arbitrary detentions, and accusations of participation in anti-governmental activities, continued to be reported in both Chechnya and Ingushetia.

The UNHCR-supported LCCs in Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachaevo-Cherkesia, North Ossetia - Alania, and Stavropol Krai provided 746 consultations during the month. In several republics, particularly Dagestan, most of the beneficiaries continued to be IDPs from the recent Chechen conflicts. In North Ossetia – Alania, many cases related to the acquisition of Russian citizenship and the retention, or re-acquisition, of forced migrant status by (former) refugees from Georgia - South Ossetia.

Food

During May WFP started the second distribution cycle in Chechnya by providing through its cooperating partners such as DRC, IR, and CHA, about 848 tons of food commodities to 84,847 beneficiaries in Achkhoy-Martan, Zunzhenski, Staropromislovski and Leninski districts of Grozny and Grozny rural district. In the beginning of June this cycle will be completed in Zavodskoy and Oktyabrski districts of Grozny. In May General Food Distribution was resumed in Ingushetia where WFP through DRC and IR distributed 164 tons of food to 16,398 IDPs. The food ration included only 10 kg of wheat flour per person (sugar and oil were not distributed). Food for education programme continued in May in 454 educational institutions of Chechnya covering 123,364 schoolchildren with the food commodities provided by WFP in April. Part of 26 schools in Sharoy, Shatoy and Itum-Kali Districts In May continued using two-month rations delivered by DRC in March. The rations include buckwheat, rice, sugar, salt, kissel and porridge.

In May 317 participants (representing 1,585 beneficiaries) were involved in an agri-cultural project on sugar beet-root growing and sugar production to be implemented jointly with the state-farms in Achkhoi-Martan, Grozny rural and Urus-Martan districts of Chechnya. The first stage included weeding works to prepare the land for beet-root growing. One more vegetable growing project was implemented in May in Novy Sharoi village of Achkhoi-Martan district, that involved 14 participants (70 beneficiaries). In the same village 31 Food for Work participants (155 beneficiaries) continued an apple orchard project. Part of the sugar as well as the fresh vegetables and fruit that are expected to be produced within the framework of the above three Food for Work projects will be donated to the schools covered by the Food for Education programme in Chechnya. In addition 12 Food for Work participants (60 beneficiaries) implemented a project on canteen rehabilitation in Grozny. The total number of Food for Work participants in May reached 374 persons (representing 1, 870 beneficiaries) who will receive food for the implemented works in June. For the works implemented in March-April WFP distributed 13 tons of food commodities to 71 Food for Work participants representing 355 beneficiaries. In May 10 trainees selected from the most vulnerable families continued attending the hairdressing courses organized within a joint WFP/IMC Food for Work project. Six former graduates of the course continued to provide hairdressing services to IDPs in Ingushetia. In May both the trainees and the Food for Work participants received 0,5 tons of food for the studies and works implemented in April.

Within the Dining Hall project WFP provided some 13 tons of food commodities to serve hot meals to 1,600 most vulnerable people (323 families) in Grozny in a canteen newly rehabilitated by Caritas, the local Ministry of Labour and Social Development and WFP’s Food for Work project participants. WFP also supported the TB project by providing about 10 tons of food to 351 TB patients in Ingushetia and about 10 tons of food to 330 TB patients in Chechnya. In May WFP staff continued to carry out needs assessment among HIV/AIDS infected persons in Chechnya to start a pilot project aimed at supporting this category of the population in the republic.

After several months gap in General Food Distribution in the North Caucasus WFP received some donations which enabled to carry out 2st General Food Distribution cycle for Chechnya and Ingushetia in May. So far confirmed contributions constitute 19% of the planned requirements of $22 mln. WFP has appealed for urgently needed additional funds to ensure continuity of basic food distribution to thousands of vulnerable people in Chechnya and Ingushetia.

Shelter

During May, UNHCR provided 8 box-tents for IDP families voluntarily returning to Chechnya and 8 for IDPs choosing to remain in Ingushetia. Of the latter, 5 were from Chechnya and 3 from Prigorodny. This brought the total distribution since the inception of the programme to 1,842 box-tents.

As part of UNHCR’s initial 2006 permanent shelter activities for IDPs from Chechnya and Prigorodny willing to integrate in Ingushetia, DRC started to distribute construction materials for 20 families to prepare foundations to build houses of 48 square meters through a self-help modality. UNHCR also contracted the construction of 48 square meter houses on a “key-in-hand” basis for 7 extremely vulnerable IDP families integrating in Ingushetia. In North Ossetia – Alania, 7 vulnerable families mainly residing in sub-standard collective accommodation in Ardon and Krasnogor Districts were selected for similar 48 square meter “key-in-hand” houses.

Within the Shelter Working Group, agencies shared their 2006 plans for construction activities in Chechnya. The selection of beneficiaries was underway by Caritas, CHA, DRC, IRC and UNHCR for more than 800 units, primarily for rehabilitation of partially destroyed housing. The Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation also continued to implement shelter construction for IDPs and refugees in Ingushetia and North Ossetia – Alania, in addition to supporting UNHCR’s permanent shelter activities.

Also during May, UNHCR approved additional quick impact projects (QIPs) for Chechnya, bringing the total there to 19. Of these, 18 are small income-generation projects, with 63% concentrated in the urban area of Grozny.

Health

In May WHO through USAID support organized a one month certified training course for 60 primary health care workers (physicians and pediatricians) at Rostov medical academy, a joint project between the Ministry of Health of Chechnya, WHO and Rostov academy for the implementation of federal national priority health plan’ component in strengthening medical education at primary health care level.

On 22-27 May WHO carried out in cooperation with MoH a joint training course on TB for some 200 Ingush primary health care and TB workers in Nazran, Ingushetia. WHO consultants and representatives of all-Russian TB institute facilitated the courses on the basis of all central district hospitals in Ingushetia.

In May, WHO delivered food commodities to the Republican TB hospital in Nazran, Ingushetia to the patients who continued and finalised their treatment. A total of 343 TB patients, including 42 children received 9100 kg of flour, 1051 kg of oil and 123 kg of sugar.

From 8-21 May, UNICEF deployed to the North Caucasus an international consultant on programme communication, with the aim of providing technical communication support, with regard to the Human Influenza pandemic threat, to the Health Ministries of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Northern Ossetia. A series of meetings and training events were conducted and a set of recommendations provided to the relevant bodies, with a view to supporting the development of a more strategic approach to effective information/communication campaigns for AI/HI prevention in the region.

Within its Expanded Programme for Immunization UNICEF distributed 88,000 disposable syringes to 14 health care facilities in Ingushetia and 205,000 syringes to 17 hospitals in Chechnya. In parallel, UNICEF continued to strengthen the capacity of primary health care level facilities (30 in Chechnya and 10 in Ingushetia) through the distribution of essential medical equipment, including tonometers, ophthalmoscopes, stethoscopes, scales for infants/ adults and auxanometers. Within the same project, UNICEF re-printed and distributed to Chechen and Ingush health professionals 500 copies of 7 types of Expanded Programme for Immunization methodological booklets/manuals on EPI planning and management, immunization techniques as well as epidemiological surveillance standards for vaccine preventable diseases.

Education

The number of children attending the 12 ‘parallel’ schools for IDPs in Ingushetia – that are managed by UNICEF in partnership with IRC, HWA and CPCD did not change noticeably and currently stands at 1,507. The average attendance rate was maintained at 93-95%. On 25 May, the “Final Bell” celebrations, which included playing, singing and dancing, were conducted in all schools, together with the parents’ committees and the teachers.

The management of CPCD, IRC and HWA participated in a meeting convened by UNICEF to agree on a common ‘exit strategy’ to facilitate the process of integration of the remaining IDP school children into the mainstream education system of Ingushetia by 1 September (start of the next academic year). IRC reported their plan to provide psychological support to the children joining the mainstream schools through the opening of special counseling centers. UNICEF added that IDP children would also be provided, according to needs, with full sets of textbooks and stationery, while hosting schools would receive essential furniture and blackboards, so as to strengthen their reception capacity.

Some 1,250 pre-school age children continued their pre-school education process in 25 Early Childhood Education centers that are located in Grozny, Shali, Argun, Gudermesski, Kurchaloiski, Naurski and Shelkovskoi districts, where children have access to daily lessons and games, supported by nutritious snacks and medical supervision. The project is managed by UNICEF, in partnership with local NGOs. The curriculum includes exercises for the development of speech (3-5 times a week), mathematics (4 times a week), knowledge of/familiarization with the surrounding world (3 times a week) and physical games (every day).

Some 120 boys and girls continued to attend UNICEF-managed carpentry and tailoring vocational classes in two locations of Chechnya. The new workshop in Sadovoe village has been fully equipped with wood-working and sewing machines as well as with a range of other hand tools. At the end of June the participants, upon completion of their 6-month training period, which has combined theoretical learning and practical skills, will face the final qualification exams, with a view to obtaining the course graduation certificates.

Peace and Tolerance

In the framework of its regional programme, a UNICEF team visited Dagestan to meet the local Child Rights Ombudsperson and participate in a ‘Peace and Tolerance Day’ organized by UNICEF, in partnership with the NGO “League of Mothers’ and Children’s Protection of Dagestan”. The planning of two summer events – a summer camp for NC children and a “NC Youth Leaders Conference” – was also discussed during UNICEF’s meeting with the Deputy Minister of Education of Dagestan.

Water and Sanitation

UNICEF continued with activities in this sector through the Polish Humanitarian Organization (PHO). Safe drinking water continued to be distributed to hospitals, schools, kindergartens and private users in Grozny, for a total of 117,000 beneficiaries. The average water production and distribution capacity reached 750 cubic metres per day. Water was delivered, on a four-route-per-day system and through 20 trucks, to 270 distribution points located in four districts of Grozny, including 32 places in medical facilities, 64 places in educational institutions, 7 TACs, and 167 points in residential area of the city. In addition, the surplus purified water, was carried to additional beneficiaries by two trucks that have been provided and maintained by EMERCOM.

IRC continued to provide assistance to the war-affected community of Ingushetia and Chechnya. In Ingushetia 4700m3 of water were delivered to 61 spontaneous settlements, 3 points in the private sector and 2 public institutions, using 6 UNHCR water trucks and 2 rental water trucks. 1449m3 of garbage were removed from 105 spontaneous settlements, 7 public institutions, using 6 UNHCR garbage trucks. 1460m3 of sewage were removed from 99 spontaneous settlements. 7680m3 of water were delivered to 108 water points in Grozny using 8 rental water trucks. 25% of all water storage tanks were checked daily. 12 water tanks with the total volume 120m3 were disinfected by Groznensky Disinfection Station specialists.

Mine Action

Following a series of meetings with the Human Rights Ombudspersons for Chechnya and Ingushetia, which were aimed at obtaining detailed information on the most relevant child rights issues in the region, UNICEF held a meeting with the Child Rights Ombudsperson for Dagestan. The meeting also provided an opportunity to discuss areas of common concern for children and ideas for future cooperation.

Despite the fact that the number of mine/UXO-related casualties in Chechnya has been significantly decreasing over the last three years, the total number of incidents recorded thus far in 2006 (January-May) has remained at the same level recorded in 2005. On the other hand, the number of victims killed has been significantly lower (2 in 2006 vs. 8 in 2005). A thorough analysis of the data indicated that most of the new incidents are due to the socio-economic needs of the population living in the mine/UXO-affected areas.

In the framework of the UNICEF-supported activities that are aimed at decreasing the impact of the mine/UXO threat on the lives of civilians in Chechnya, UNICEF established 8 new leisure centers for children living in Vinogradnoe, Oktyabrskoe, Makhketie, Gvardeiskoe, Mairtup and Gudermes. These centers, equipped with music instruments, computers, TV, Karaoke and different table games, provide a safe playing environment for children.

Within the framework of UNICEF’s assistance programme for children with disabilities (including mine/UXO survivors), some 15 children were provided with treatment at the physiotherapy ward of the Republican Clinical Hospital in Grozny. The same group of children (with their primary caregivers) also received psychosocial support at the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Center in Grozny, which is run by UNICEF through its local implementing partner Let’s Save the Generation. A total number of 29 children are currently being treated at the Rehabilitation Center. A variety of therapies – including group and individual counseling, drama and music therapies, labour and play therapies – are being applied and contribute to the psycho-physical improvement of the children’s condition. Meanwhile, vocational training in tailoring and computer skills has been further supported by UNICEF for 60 children living in Grozny, Achkhoy-Martan and Vedeno.

Funding of the Humanitarian Operation

The Financial Tracking System (FTS) database for the 2006 Transitional Workplan for the North Caucasus was created in April and is now publicly available at http://ocha.unog.ch/fts/reports/reportlist.asp?section=CE&record_ID=714.

From the date of the last Information Bulletin until the date of this Bulletin donors recorded the following new contributions in the FTS:

Description
Decision date
Donor Country
Appealing Agency
Amount in USD
Protection Programs
02-05-2006
European Commission (ECHO)
UNHCR
1,330,109
Protection Programs
02-05-2006
United States
UNHCR
2,000,000
Shelter programme
03-05-2006
Canada
UNHCR
181,818
Protection programmes
18-05-2006
Norway
Memorial Human
Rights Centre
45,000
Education programmes
18-05-2006
Private (individuals
& organisations)
Islamic Relief
89,000
Food aid
23-05-2006
Netherlands
WFP
400,000
Food security and agriculture (for 3 years)
23-05-2006
Sweden
UNDP
950,000
Economic growth
23-05-2006
Norway
UNDP
1,000,000
Food aid
23-05-2006
United Kingdom
WFP
347,826
Governance (for 3 years)
23-05-2006
Sweden
UNDP
340,000
Mine action (for 3 years)
23-05-2006
Sweden
UNDP
100,000
Economic growth (for 3 years)
23-05-2006
Sweden
UNDP
1,335,000
Peace and tolerance (for 3 years)
23-05-2006
Sweden
UNDP
150,000
Mine risk education and survivor assistance to
conflict-affected children and women from Chechnya
25-05-2006
Private (individuals
& organisations)
UNICEF
83,754
TOTAL :
8,352,507

Produced by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Tel: (7495) 956-6405; Fax: (7495) 956-6355; e-mail: mirzoian@un.org

Please send your contributions for the next bulletin to OCHA by 10 July 2006

For more information, please contact us directly or refer to: www.ocha.ru or www.reliefweb.int

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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