Russia

Poul Nielson urges humanitarian organisations to come forward with applications for assistance to refugees from Chechnya

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In a written statement, Mr Olivier Dupuis, a MEP of the Radical Party, challenged the European Commission to intervene in Georgia, where he said over 3,000 Chechen refugees were blocked without food in the Georgian border village of Chatili. Responding to this, Development and Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Poul Nielson informs that according to the latest reports reaching ECHO about 600 refugees who did reach Chatili were actually evacuated on December 10. The total flow of refugees towards Georgia has been relatively low - just over 4,000 have been registered to date - and humanitarian agencies (also funded by ECHO) have so far been able to cope adequately. The big problem is the situation inside Chechnya, and here again the issue of access is crucial. The European Union has already accepted to work through unconventional channels in this crisis and has already urged humanitarian organisations to come forward with applications for assistance to refugees from Chechnya.