UNICEF Humanitarian Assistance in the Northern Caucasus Situation Report No. 59

14-26 January, 2003
General situation

According to the official data released by the Ingush President's Administration on 19 January, there are 64,295 internally displaced persons living in Ingushetia. Out of that, 26,045 people reside with host families, 21,179 people find refuge in the spontaneous settlements, and 17,071 people are accommodated in the tented camps. It is an evident discrepancy from the Danish Refugee Council's December figures used by the UN and very close to the ICRC's ones (host families: 55,570; spontaneous settlements: 27,889; camps: 19,374).

On January 23, 2003, the delegation of the Parliament Assembly of the Council of Europe headed by Lord Judd visited the places of compact residence of the Chechen IDPs in Ingushetia. The delegation intended to get first-hand information on the IDP returning process to Chechnya.

According to the UNICEF field monitoring trip results, there are more and more empty spaces appearing on the spots of former tent locations in some tented camps in Ingushetia. According to Commandant of Bela camp, one or two families are leaving for Chechnya every week.

UNICEF Intervention - Update



UNICEF introduced visiting Associated Press journalists to the alternative schooling and kindergarten activities in IDP camps in Ingushetia. During the mass media mission, children in camps could associate with journalists and shared with them impressions on their living conditions and educational opportunities in IDP camps.

On 21 January PINF distributed UNICEF and ECHO sponsored winter shoes for the primary school aged children of several schools in Grozny, Duba-Yurt school and children living in cellars of destroyed houses. At the same time they distributed the winter jackets provided by World Vision for the new IDP schools in Ingushetia.


Currently UNICEF is supporting directly or partially 59 schools located in the tent camps or spontaneous settlements in Ingushetia. Number of children enrolled stays around 10,000. According to the reports of UNICEF implementing partners, the overall attendance rate for IDP school network in Ingushetia ranges from 82% to 91,4%. This be considered as satisfactory for the winter season taking into consideration the problems with gas, electricity, seasonal increase of child illness and IDP families migration under political pressure of the official authorities.

On 14 January 2003 the winter vacations at IDP schools were over and the educational process in alternative schools resumed. It should be noted that during the holidays nearly all schools stayed open because they are still considered by the camp population as the safest place for their children. The children are encouraged by heir parents to stay at school the major part of the day and to be involved in different recreational activities and hobbies.

Hilfswerk Austria's monitors made a survey of their school network to analyse the teaching level and children's general knowledge after the first semester. The testing in written form carried out by HWA teachers resulted in quite low knowledge in biology, chemistry and native language which could be explained by shortage of textbooks and literature available in the camps. HWA conveyed the demonstration lessons on Russian literature and Russian poetry in the school of Aki-Yurt attended by other teachers of alternative schools. One seminar was dedicated to Ingush and Chechen writers. Other seminars took place in HWA schools to explain the harmful influence of drinking alcohol.

Recreational, Sports and Others

The Child Folk Dancing group of ARD's school in Sputnik returned to the camp after the 10 days spent in Czech Republic. The tour was sponsored by UNICEF implementing partner PINF. The children visited a number of Czech cities where they performed the traditional Chechen folk dances and were welcomed by the local community. All children have benefited from the social and cultural integration with their teens in other country.

The opening of the new IRC Sport and Physical development Center in Karabulak on 20 January stated benefiting IDP children living in the area. Apart from the regular physical training the center provides the possibility to attend different activities and sports like wrestling, boxing, aerobics, volleyball, basketball, chess and checkers. UNICEF supported the Center with some sport equipment. The opening ceremony was attended by all IRC school children, their parents and other NGOs representatives. The local TV made a special report to show the sport activities and a concert performed by IDP children for about 250 visitors and participants.

On 28 January IRC scheduled a training for the adolescents of their schools to avoid drug-addiction. The event will take place in the new Sport Center. Besides, the Center will receive 1700 books for the library to let IDPs increase their knowledge and intellectual level. Another 1660 books will be provided for one more library in Grozny and 1200 books for the IRC supported schools in Chechnya

PINF organized and sponsored a wrestling tournament and the chess competition in their sport club in Altievo IDP spontaneous settlement in mid-January.

PINF together with the Moscow NGO "Krug" is developing a small-scale project on building tolerance to establish good relations with a Moscow located school. Children are involved in correspondence exchange with the pupils in Moscow to share opinions on the situation in Chechnya and the problems of adolescents in Russia

Mine Action Programme (MAP)


UNICEF's MAP implementing partners have successfully performed two interactive presentations for the Media Mission visiting Northern Caucasus: Voice of the Mountains (VoM) showed the mine awareness lesson for schoolchildren in camp Bella, while CARE International and New Education demonstrated a psychosocial intervention for war-traumatised IDP children in camp Satsita.

The mine/UXO related situation in Chechnya has been reported to remain volatile. For instance, only a week ago in Samashki two schoolchildren got involved in a UXO incident. The two brothers were trying to dismantle the device while searching for aluminum. As a consequence of the incident, one of them lost his arm, another one the right leg. The incident exemplifies the typical wrong behaviour being one of the main issues covered by UNICEF's mine risk education campaign.

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

1,726 schoolchildren in Chechnya received basic MRE knowledge through presentations organised by VoM in Urus-Maratanovski district of Chechnya (Secondary schools No.1, 4, 6). Two instructors working in Ingushetia conducted seminars for 420 IDP children attending Hilsfwerk Austria run school in Alina camp. Each presentation has been followed by the dissemination of UNICEF MRE notebooks.

610 IDP children residing in the MTF and Logovaz spontaneous settlements in Karabulak and Nazran have participated in the MRE drama performance in the Russian Academic Theatre of Vladikavkaz. Two instructors from Let's Save the Generation (LSG) conducted MRE presentations in the buses on the way to the theatre in the form of competition aiming at ensuring children's preparedness for the topic. In the theatre children have demonstrated interest in the issue by getting very actively involved in all the tasks suggested by the actors during the presentation.

UNICEF's MAP has received new requests from VoM, LSG, Minga and Danish De-mining Group for MRE materials to be shortly disseminated in Chechnya and Ingushetia.

Support to Mine Victims

The Prosthetic Workshop has completed the treatment of 13 mine/UXO affected children and women. Within the same time frame they have received psychological counseling provided by the psychologists from New Education. A new group of 9 disabled children has been registered for both artificial limbs and orthopedics devices.

CARE International and New Education have reported the successful continuation of the joint psychosocial programme. Within the reporting period 30 war-affected children, including mine/UXO victims, have paid 4 visits to the Medical-Psychological Centre in Vladikavkaz, where they have been involved in different activities, such as dance and music therapy, embroidery, electro-sleep, yoga therapy and physical exercising. Another group of 30 children with different mental disorders have been treated in the IDP camp Satsita. Children's parents have been enrolled in the programme aiming at a comprehensive family coverage.

The distribution of 17 wheelchairs in Shatoyski, Sharoyski and Itum-Kalinski districts of Chechnya has been reported by Minga, being a part of UNICEF's wide-scale distribution of assistive devices for mine/UXO affected children and women.

IMSMA database managed by VoM has been updated with 81 incident/casualty forms filled out in Chechnya by: VoM, 56 in Shatoyski district and LSG, 25 in Groznensko-Selski district.

Health and Nutrition

Expanded Programme of Immunisation (EPI)

UNICEF has continued to process data obtained from the assessment of vaccination centers in all health care facilities in Chechnya carried out in December. According to the preliminary analysis of the situation, only 7 Administrative Districts out of 15 meet the required Russian sanitary standards and are equipped with minimum basic cold-chain supplies for vaccine storage. In many places vaccines are kept in fridges or cellars at a household level. More detailed information is expected for the status of the cold-chain system at village level (third level).

MoH of Ingushetia applied to UNICEF to assist with disposable syringes for vaccination activities to cover resident and IDP children. UNICEF will adequately respond to the request after finalising distribution plan for supplies available in its stocks.

Mother and Child Health Care - MCH

According to data provided to UNICEF by one of its NGO partners working on MCH care in Grozny, out of total 1,730 people in need of assistance in selective health care centers in December 2002, 1,557 (90%) were children under 14. According to the NGO, the majority of children suffered respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases.

UNICEF is starting assessment phase of the Mother Empowerment Programme, aimed to contribute to a change in behaviour and attitude towards home management of children's common diseases and nutrition among parents and other care-providers. An UNICEF expert from Turkmenistan will start designing MEP with the help of UNICEF staff beginning January 27, 2003.

Water and Sanitation

UNICEF's partner PHO has continued to provide potable water to residents of Grozny in 139 water distribution points with total daily capacity of 300,53 cubic meters. In general, the monthly capacity of water provided comprised of 7,513,25 cubic metres.

UNICEF's partner PHO has continued to maintain garbage and sewage disposal on a twice-a-week basis. Two garbage trucks disposed 98 garbage containers (1 cubic metre each) in 30 points of school and hospital sites of Grozny. The sewage truck has been operating with average daily capacity of 12,02 metric tonnes.

Contributing on a daily basis to reducing medical waste hazard, the UNICEF partner PHO continued in close cooperation with SES to disseminate knowledge on the management of incinerators, built in 9 major hospitals of Grozny.

PHO has started a survey, aimed to monitor the Water and Sanitation project's efficiency. Results of the survey will be shared with UNICEF and other interested parties.

Moscow, 26 January 2003
Emergency Programme Team