UNICEF Humanitarian Assistance in the Northern Caucasus Situation Report No. 57

17-31 December 2002
General situation

On the eve of the New Year, UNICEF staff visited Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Alina, Bella, Bart, Sputnik, Catsita and Aki Yurt in Ingushetia. In accordance with information obtained from IDPs residing in the camps, the overall situation is reported as follows:

  • The Ministry for Extraordinary Situations, EMERCOM, has resumed the distribution of food items to the IDPs, however the latter report a lack of basic items, such as food, detergents and hygienic items;

  • Medical services have been reported to be very low in Bella camp;

  • Water and electricity supply remain normal, however gas supply is very low at night resulting in a decrease in temperatures inside the tents;

  • Residents of Sputnik camp complain about the absence of proper bedding, as it was destroyed as a result of the summer 2002 flooding;

  • Box tents have been set up in Aki Yurt where 23 families of 172 persons are housed. There is no gas supply and IDPs have devised make-shift connections for electricity. Despite the gas supply shortage, 102 out of 173 children attended school on a regular basis until the New Year.

Ms. Ella Panfilova, Chairwoman of the Presidential Human Rights Commission, and Mr. Stanislav Ilyasov, Russian Minister for Chechnya, began inspecting refugee camps in Ingushetia on 27 December. The objective of the visit was to report to the President of the Russian Federation on the situation concerning forced migrants living in the tent camps in Ingushetia.

UNICEF Intervention - Update


UNICEF and implementing NGOs have assisted children in IDP camp schools in celebrating the New Year. Performances and shows were organized with the participation of children. Gifts were distributed to the children in Sputnik, Alina, Bart, Bella and Satsita IDP camps in Ingushetia, as well as in the spontaneous settlements and kindergartens in Grozny. Such events provide strong psychosocial support to children as well as their family members.

Over 500 IDPs came back to the Alina and Bella camps after their return to Chechnya.

The quality of teaching and learning was noted to be reasonably good due to highly motivated teachers and school staff in the IDP camps. During the reporting period, the overall school attendance was 70 per cent. There are a number of children who do not attend school due to the emerging need to sustain their families. On several occasions, schools had to shorten class hours to 20 minutes because of low gas pressure.

The NGO "People in Need Foundation" (PINF) distributed textbooks for grades 1-11 and education kits which were supplied by UNICEF to school children in spontaneous settlements in Kolos, Agrosnab, Avtovaz and Radiozavod of Karbulak and Malgobek towns in Ingushetia.

The situation of the tent school in the Kolos spontaneous settlement in Karabulak town is critical due to the lack of a available winterized tent in the area. PINF had to occupy an alternative site for temporary use as a school. UNICEF will supply PINF with additional winterized tents to resolve the situation in January 2003.

All tent schools have been encouraged to develop recreational and extra curricular activities such as art, music and sports in the camps with support of PINF. A number of volleyball and football activities and wrestling tournaments among IDPs children took place at the end of December.

IRC and CARE International organized a day of Chechen Culture including a puppet show and folk dancing and music performances for school children in Karabulak town in Ingushetia.

Over 200 adolescents participated in a series of anti-drug seminars which were carried out in the IRC run schools of SMU-4, Bogatyr, Finotdel, Tanzilla, Teremok, Maslozavod.

Jointly with IDP schools, the NGO Hilfswerk Austria is working on an analysis of learning achievements among IDP children.

During schools visits it was noted that IDP schools lack educational teaching aids, instructional guides and manuals. Most of schools in the camps are short of display materials and basic training equipment. Teachers have not had refresher training in the past several years.

Mine Action Programme (MAP)

The Christmas presentation prepared by the Russian Academic Theatre in Vladikavkaz(and supported by UNICEF) was attended by a group of 170 IDP children from Logovaz Camp in Nazran and 30 participants from UNICEF supported psychosocial programmes.

The Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) follow-up training has been jointly conducted by UNICEF and Voice of the Mountains (VoM) for NGO staff involved in data gathering in Chechnya. Participants found the meeting to be an extremely useful tool for keeping abreast of the qualitative and quantitative changes in the database.

Mine Risk Education (MRE) / Mine Awareness (MA)

Within the reporting period VoM instructors provided 1,728 schoolchildren in Urus-Martan secondary schools with MRE presentations. The instructors working in Mayskoe village of North Ossetia helped raise awareness for 331 Chechen IDP children.

UNICEF partner, Let's Save the Generation (LSG), disseminated 700 MRE posters in schools of Shalinski, Groznenski and Achkhoi-Martanovski districts in Chechnya. During MRE presentations posters were distributed in the buses in Ingushetia.

101 new incident/casualty forms filled out by VoM, Minga and LSG have been registered into UNICEF IMSMA database.

Victim Assistance

Minga has completed the first stage of wheelchair distribution by reaching large parts of Grozny, Urus-Martanovski, Kurchaloevski and Shalinski districts in Chechnya. The remaining distribution will reach woman and child mine victims during January-February 2003.

A group of adolescent mine/UXO victims enrolled in the UNICEF supported vocational training course run by VoM has passed final examinations in Grozny. The VoM representatives attended the ceremony where the representatives of Chechen Ministries of Education and Social Labour and Development congratulated children with the successful course completion and handed them certificates.

UNICEF has delivered five pieces of additional prosthetic equipment produced by German company Otto Bock, to the Prosthetic Workshop in Vladikavkaz. In combination with other equipment provided by UNICEF, the last set will help increase the capacity of the Centre to the highest level possible, which will consequently speed up the UNICEF supported Prosthetics-Orthotics programme. Meanwhile, Workshop technicians managed to complete the treatment of 10 mine/UXO affected children, out of whom 4 received artificial limbs, 5 - orthopaedic shoes and 1 tutor.

The Physical Rehabilitation Centre has congratulated a group of mine/UXO affected IDP children with the completion of their rehabilitation course as well as with the New Year. All children received Christmas gifts prepared by the Centre.

The UNICEF founded football team of child mine victims has won the second prize in the junior tournament for amputees in Moscow. The trip was organized and supported by the Sports Committee of Chechnya.

UNICEF attended the final concert by IDP children visiting the Psychological-Medical Centre in Vladikavkaz. This is within the framework of the UNICEF-supported Psychosocial Project which has been implemented by CARE International and "New Education". The concert was arranged by the New Education psychologist in Ingushetia. The event has once again demonstrated that this interactive programme helps make children affected by war become noticeably more resilient.

Health and Nutrition

Expanded Programme of Immunisation (EPI)

UNICEF continues providing technical support and equipment for the EPI system in Chechnya along with an ongoing awareness campaign through the distribution of UNICEF vaccination cards to women that come to health care facilities.

At the request of the Chechen Deputy Minister of Health in charge of Mother and Child Heath Care, UNICEF has supplied 2 gas-driven refrigerators to a Consultative Health Care Centre of the Republican Paediat ric Polyclinic in the city of Grozny. Equipment is needed for immunization of children from the "group of risk" being referred from all over Republic to a newly restored Vaccination Centre.

Mother and Child Health Care - MCH

UNICEF donated basic essential drugs, medical consumables and 4 MCH kits to the Republican Paediatric Hospital in Grozny.

The Deputy Minister of Health has reported a high child mortality rate due to lack of a specialized hospital for newborns and infants born prematurely. A total of 450 children went through resuscitation therapy in the Republican Children Hospital in 2002. The analysis of data presented to UNICEF illustrated a 15% fatality rate among children less than 29 days old.

According to data from the Central Maternity Hospital of Grozny, out of the 2,375 deliveries during a period of 11 months in 2002, 1,336 of the pregnancies involved a disease during the pregnancy. Also out of the total number of deliveries (2,375), in 1,723 of the cases the women suffered from anaemia.

Water & Sanitation

Within the framework of the Master Project Cooperation Agreement signed between UNICEF and the Polish Humanitarian Organization (PHO), activities on the production and distribution of water, as well as sanitation activities with special focus on schools and hospitals, continue for citizens in Grozny

Potable water has been distributed by PHO to 156 water tankers in 150 locations in all four districts of Grozny. The average daily supply to the public and private sectors comprised a total of 36,399 cubic metres. This is a decreased schedule of water trucking due to a shortage of daylight, which will continue until the end of February.

Ongoing sanitation activities implemented by UNICEF partner PHO are continuing on the same level as before. Garbage removal in 27 locations in Grozny was implemented with daily capacity of 193 cubic metres. Sewage removal took place in the PHO-built latrines at school and hospital sites with daily capacities of 1,054 cubic metres.

One of the biggest problems in Grozny is the increasing volume of dangerous medical waste. PHO, in cooperation with the Sanitary Epidemiological Service (SES) of Chechnya, has been conducting a supervision of 10 incinerators built with UNICEF support in 9 hospitals in Grozny.

During the reporting period time UNICEF has contributed to the maintenance of the environmental sanitation through the distribution of chloride powder to IDP settlements in Ingushetia and hospitals in Chechnya.

Emergency Programme Team 31 December 2002