UNICEF Humanitarian Assistance in the Northern Caucasus Situation Report No. 61

Situation Report
Originally published
UNICEF Humanitarian Assistance in the Northern Caucasus
10 - 24 February, 2003
General situation
  • A joint UNICEF/ECHO mission to Grozny was held successfully on 18 February. During the trip the following sites/projects were visited: a temporary accommodation center (TAC) for returning IDPs, a UNICEF-supported vocational training program for mine victims, a newly inaugurated Caritas-run child friendly space, a mine risk education lesson, the hospital #9 and the main pumping station of the UNICEF/PHO water programme. Detailed information about the TAC visited, overall in better conditions then last year, were shared with other UN agencies.

  • According to the Danish Refugee Council data, 95,000 Chechen IDPs were registered in Ingushetia by the 1st of February; out of them 16,000 people were living in organized camps, 27,000 people were registered in spontaneous settlements, and 52,000 people were accommodated in host families.

  • Alvaro Gil-Robles, the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, paid a visit to the Northern Caucasus, where he met Kadyrov, the Head of Chechnya's administration, and Zyazikov, the Ingush President. Mr Gil-Robles visited the IDP camp "Bart", in Ingushetia, and lectured on international law in one of the military units in Grozny (Chechnya).
UNICEF Intervention - Update


- Schools

  • Approximately 8-10% of school age IDP children in tent camps in Ingushetia do not attend school for various reasons including sharing the burden of bread winning responsibilities for their families. Results of the monitoring of the project by CPCD, the implementing partner of UNICEF, have shown that about 200 children in IDP camp Alina had to discontinue their study after having missed 3 to 5 school-years as consequences of the two conflicts. UNICEF encourages the integration of out-of-school IDP children and adolescents into the educational system of or into alternative facilities like vocational training and sport centres, caring also for the psychosocial aspects of the reintegration.

  • During the last two weeks the number of children enrolled in alternative schools in IDP camps decreased from 10,056 to 9,970. In Satsita camp, it is reported that 23 children moved to Chechnya with their families since mid-January 2003. The repatriation of IDPs from Alina camp decreased number of students from 417 to 386, and in Bella from 620 to 585. There is a tendency of IDPs leaving camps and spontaneous settlements in Ingushetia to areas which could be considered relatively safe and have accessible schools inside Chechnya. As a result of continuous talks of inevitable return to Chechnya in spring, some people decide to move earlier back to Chechnya to have a better accommodation in new TACs opened by the Chechen government.

  • In Malgobeksky region in Ingushetia, 200 children of PINF's run school could not attend school because of gas cut. After some break, the school started its operation with the attendance rate of 80%.

  • Local authorities including Migration Service of Ingushetia refused to supply gas to CPCD run school in "Rassvet" spontaneous settlement where 1,100 IDP children have been enrolled. Series of meetings and dialogues led to no result until UNICEF approached the President Administration of Ingushetia who contributed to the reconnection of the school to the gas supply.

  • IRC together with UNHCR, the NGO Vesta and the Teachers' Qualification Improvement Institute of Ingushetia has conducted a two-day seminar on the protection of human rights covering 100 youth leaders of the IRC run school network. The secondary school pupils learned about the basic human rights and freedoms and mechanisms of their implementation. The youth leaders plan to share with their classmates about their knowledge on rights issues.

  • HWA is reporting of mumps epidemic in their school in Bella camp, which inevitably decreased the attendance rate from 93% down to 83 %.

  • HWA is organizing the evening courses for the adolescents to learn computer skills and English with purposes of facilitating their future employment opportunities.
- Kindergartens/Child Friendly Spaces
  • UNICEF supported the extension of the kindergarten run by Caritas in Altievo increasing its accommodating capacity from 50 to 100 children and allowing for the enrolment of pre-school age children coming from the closing HWA kindergartens.

  • UNICEF and ECHO attended the inauguration of the new child friendly space called "Malysh" activated by Caritas in Grozny. The new CFS will cater for two modules of 50 children each, and once rehabilitation will be finalised, other 20/30 children will be accommodated.
Mine Action Programme (MAP)


  • In accordance with the information obtained by UNICEF from the Ministry of Health of Chechnya, in 2002 a total of 5,695 persons have been registered by different health facilities as being involved in mine and UXO incidents. Out of them 938 (16.5%) were children, 93 in need of serious medical interventions. 553 patients have been hospitalized, 125 died.
Mine Risk Education (MRE)/ Mine Awareness (MA)
  • During the joint mission to Grozny, UNICEF and ECHO representatives attended the MRE lesson conducted by the schoolteacher recently trained by VoM. The lesson has clearly showed the necessity to fine-tune the VoM's Training of Trainers course for the future MRE teachers, so that the latter present the UNICEF developed MRE material in a more interactive way. The last ToT session has been held by VoM for teachers from Shali and Tolstoy-Jurt. The previous commitment of the regional education departments of Chechnya to ensure adequate attendance of MRE schoolteachers at the ToT has not been fully met: only 22 teachers have been trained instead of 70 planned for the session. The matter will be shortly discussed with the MoE of Chechnya in order to ensure proper execution of the ToT schedule.

  • Along with the regular MRE presentations conducted for 1,587 schoolchildren in Chechnya and 325 in Ingushetia, VoM instructors have disseminated MRE posters in Shali and Tolstoy-Yurt, pens and notebooks in Achkhoi-Martanovski Secondary schools and in Alina IDP schools.

  • Russian Academic Theatre in Vladikavkaz has performed the UNICEF developed MRE presentation for 190 IDP children residing in tent camp Sputnik. Children have been registered, gathered and accompanied by the local NGO "Let's Save the Generation" (LSG).
Support to Mine/UXO Victims
  • Handicap International (HI), one of the active MAP actors in the Northern Caucasus, has paid a visit to the Prosthetic Workshop (PW) in Vladikavkaz, and was briefed by UNICEF and PW's staff on the on-going activities carried out in the framework of cooperation with UNICEF and WHO. UNICEF has confirmed the intention to call the joint meeting for the prosthetic-orthopaedic assistance in NC with the involvement of WHO, ICRC, HI, and prosthetic workshops of Vladikavkaz, Grozny and Nalchik.

  • Within the reporting period the Prosthetic Workshop in Vladikavkaz has been ensuring measurement and fitting procedures to 17 child and woman mine/UXO victims. 7 prosthesis and 3 pairs of orthopaedic shoes have been produced. Additional devices, such as corsets, bandages, cases for prostheses, special belts, crutches, etc. have been provided by the PW to all those in need.

  • IMSMA database has been updated with new 56 forms submitted by VoM and 25 submitted by LSG.

  • Along with medical and psychosocial treatment, a group of 30 psychologically traumatised IDP children from the spontaneous settlement in Yandare have been offered recreational therapy in the Medical-Psychosocial Centre in Vladikavkaz. CARE International and New Education implementing the project have confirmed that the vivid and positive emotional experience as well as the acquaintance with peaceful life have had another positive effect on children and enabled to touch their "inner resources" forming positive orientation for their future.
Health and Nutrition

Expanded Programme of Immunisation - EPI

  • UNICEF has continued the monitoring of the situation in the vaccination coverage of resident and IDP children in Chechnya. According to the annual report issued by the MoH's Central Health Care Department, the vaccination rate in the city of Grozny ranged between 36,4% and 123,5 % depending on types of vaccination. It was reported that the shortage and timely supply for vaccines such as polio, measles, epidemic parotitis, and rubella to Chechnya.
Mother and Child Health Care - MCH
  • À The Chechen MoH reported anemia and acute respiratory infections as the most prevalent diseases among children under 17. Worsening of social conditions has been contributing to the overall low level of children's health status. Local health officials reported the high rate for under 5 morbidity and mortality due to the lack of properly equipped health care facilities, low level of public awareness on health care and insufficient number of medical staff in hospitals etc.

  • À UNICEF has continued the distribution of basic essential drugs to government health care facilities rendering assistance to mothers and children residing in various parts of Chechnya. The three months ratio medicines were distributed to PINF, an NGO partner, working as a mobile team for IDPs in Ingushetia and residents in Chechnya.
Mother Empowerment Programme - MEP
  • UNICEF has been working on development of its Mother Empowerment Programme for the Chechen IDPs living in Ingushetia. Programme elaboration and preparation phase, conducted in close cooperation with the Ingush MoH, consisted of the development of training and IEC materials as well as the preparation for training activities. The programme aims at behavior and attitude changes towards management of children's health among parents, care-providers, and health institutions using community-based approaches.
Water and Sanitation
  • Within the framework of the Project Cooperation Agreement on Production and Distribution of Potable Water, UNICEF delivered 27 ECHO-funded water bladders to the Polish Humanitarian Organization (PHO) for the further installation in distribution points around the city of Grozny. Based on PHO preliminary assessment, UNICEF/PHO prioritized schools and hospitals as priority targets for the distribution of newly supplied bladders in Grozny.

  • Delivery of potable water to residents of Grozny was carried out in 139 water distribution points with the average daily capacity of 350 cubic meters.

  • Sanitation activities of garbage and sewage disposals with daily capacity of 38 and 12 metric tons respectively, carried out by UNICEF implementing partner PHO has contributed to maintenance of adequate sanitation conditions in most of main schools and hospitals of Grozny during the reporting period.
Moscow, 25 February 2003
Emergency Programme Team