UNICEF Humanitarian Assistance in the Northern Caucasus Situation Report No. 58

Situation Report
Originally published
1 - 13 January, 2003
General situation

After the damage inflicted by the attack on the Chechen government building on December 27, the Government of Chechnya has been operating in temporary facilities located near the government building wrecked in the recent terrorist act. The Government moved into 3 prefabs equipped with the necessary utilities such as gas, electricity, and telephones. According to the official data, 83 people were killed and 153 injured in a result of the explosion in Grozny. The Chechen government set compensation amounts of 20 thousand roubles for wounded and 100 thousand roubles for killed ones to be paid out. The Chechen administration tightened security over the site of the recent attack.

Russian Government moves forward with referendum plans for Chechnya. The referendum, provisionally set for March, will formalise a constitution that will fix Chechnya's place within the Russian Federation. Approval of the referendum will pave the way for presidential and parliamentary elections in Chechnya in late 2003 or early 2004.

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe Assistance Group Mission in Chechnya closed its mandate on December 31. Negotiations on a new mandate had reached a deadlock.

According to the latest DRC data, the tent camps Alina, Bella, Satsita, Sputnik and Bart in Ingushetia are currently accommodating more than 20,000 IDPs from Chechnya. The National Committee on IDP of the Chechen Government (Chairman Mr. Gidizov) delegated its representatives for the purpose of repatriation campaign to all major IDP settlements on the territory of Ingushetia. According to some superintendents of the tent camps, the Committee representatives put direct and indirect pressures on the Chechens in order to return as many of them as possible.

UNICEF Intervention - Update



The New Year celebrations for children took place in all IDP schools and kindergartens enabling IDPs children to socialize and reduce the atmosphere of tension and depression in IDP camps; the celebrations involved elderly people and youths. Implementing NGO partners worked intensively to organize performances of children in the camps. Due to security problems in Chechnya, the distribution of the New Year gifts for school children in Grozny was delayed.

The NGO People In Need Foundation (PINF) together with the local NGO Agency for Rehabilitation and Development has arranged a visit of Chechen IDP school children from the Sputnik camp to Czech Republic. These children are involved in the "Chechen folk dance group" project supported in the past by UNICEF. The group is taking a tour around Czech cities and perform national Caucasian dances. This goodwill event has a significant contribution to the psychosocial rehabilitation of IDP children. A number of informal meetings with Czech pupils is scheduled by the sponsors during their stay in the Czech republic.

UNICEF had several meetings and discussions with the officials of Chechen Ministry of Education on improving the quality of teaching and development of professional skills of teachers in IDP camps. Teachers will be involved in identifying their needs for teacher training programme that aim to enhance their capacity to provide a quality education to IDP children in camps.


During the school winter vacations children from IRC run schools in Grozny have participated in recreational activities such as drawing, learning to make decorations and different sports activities. The Chechen MoE and the Municipal Center for Children Creative Activities are very supportive to these initiatives and committed to supply schools with materials.

The students from the CPCD Vocational Training programme organized with the support of UNICEF have successfully passed exams and will be awarded certificates. A new group of students will have an opportunity to study in "English language", "Computer skills" and "Cookery" courses as part of the vocational training programme starting in January.

The reconstruction of the wooden school "Dom Byta" by IRC in Sleptsovskaya contributed to the opening of two more classrooms increasing the enrolling capacity for IDP children living in the camps. The opening ceremony is scheduled in January.

IRC had to close the IDP school "Voskhod" in M.Achaluki as most of the children left with their families for Chechnya or other spontaneous settlements in Ingushetia. Only 28 children remained in the school and they were referred to other regular school later on.


With the agreement of the Department of Gudermes Railroads, CARITAS rehabilitated one of the buildings to open a Children's Centre in Grozny last December. However, the Department has sent a letter requesting to release the premises to use it for their employees. Caritas representatives addressed Mr Zhidkov, Mayor of Grozny and the Headquarters of the North-Caucasian Railroads in Rostov-on-Don to assist in solving the problem.

Mine Action Programme (MAP)

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

The review of Mine Action Programme for 2002 has taken place with the implementing partners and achievements and lessons learned were documented.

The 2003 MRE campaign has started with the distribution of UNICEF posters by the Voice of the Mountains (VoM) and Let's Save the Generation (LSG) in the IDP camps in Ingushetia, and by Minga inside Chechnya. After the New Year's holidays it will undoubtedly serve as a reminder of persisting danger for all categories of people living in mine contaminated territories.

Support to Mine Victims

The first visit to the Prosthetic Workshop in 2003 has been marked by the completion of treatment of 5 mine/UXO-affected children, whose fitting process started in 2002. The Prosthetic Workshop has reported about the beginning of use of the new UNICEF purchased treadmill - to teach the patients to walk on prostheses -, and the stimulator - to prepare the muscles for fitting. As the result of the reported blockage of roads in Argun (Chechnya), the four child mine victims could not reach UNICEF's bus and consequently did not manage to receive their prosthesis timely. The complicated travelling conditions, being a characteristic feature of the last three months in Chechnya, slow down a great deal the whole process of fitting.

Within the reporting period Minga has distributed 15 wheelchairs in Argun, as well as in Shalinski, Achkhoi-Martanovski, Kurchaloevski districts of Chechnya. In the same districts Minga has distributed walking sticks and crutches in accordance with the distribution lists. Minga has reported that new people still continue applying for such assisting devices as wheelchairs and walking sticks.

The psychologist of New Education has consulted 12 traumatised children and women during their visit to the Prosthetic Workshop.

VoM has started the process of enrolment of new students for the vocational training course in Grozny. As usual, it will be a group of about 30 mine/UXO injured adolescents, who will be taking English and Computing classes.

VoM and LSG monitors have already resumed data gathering for the IMSMA database. As soon as the situation allows, they are ready to start filling out the incident/casualty IMSMA forms for those who have been injured and killed during the explosion in the building of the Chechen Government.

Health and Nutrition


Islamic Relief health care workers working in Alina and Sputnik tent camps reported to UNICEF on increased number of patients, who applied for medical assistance due to neurotic and psychic disorders, etc. Health professionals report that they had to render IDPs with psychological counselling as well.

Expanded Programme of Immunisation (EPI)

UNICEF has finished assessment of the cold chain system in out-patient clinics (third level) in Chechnya. Data obtained from about 200 vaccination centers around the Republic would be available in the nearest future. This will make possible for UNICEF to move ahead with the further and complete equipping of the cold chain system in Chechnya.

UNICEF has continued to supplement the Chechen and Ingush MoH efforts on disseminating the knowledge about importance of vaccination coverage among children. In this regard the distribution of vaccination cards to mothers went on in various health care facilities in both Republics.

Mother and Child Health Care - MCH

MoH of the Chechen Republic reported that out of total 2448 patients received by the Central Maternity Hospital during 11 months of 2002, 93 women were provided with medical care after home deliveries. The situation in the Chechen Republic, where movements are difficult and unsafe due to presence of numerous military check-points, has eventually aggravated the situation with provision of adequate health care services to pregnant women and increased the number of complicated pregnancies and deliveries.

Water and Sanitation

UNICEF has continued through its partner PHO to distribute potable water to residents of Grozny with the average daily capacity of 364m3.

UNICEF's partner PHO has continued to maintain sanitation activities in school and hospital sites of Grozny. In total, 193m3 of garbage was removed in December. Sewage removal was conducted with the daily capacity of 10,54m3 during the reporting period.

Moscow, 13 January 2003