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Humanitarian action in the North Caucasus information bulletin 15 - 30 Sep 2002


Russian Government Fights the Consequences of an Avalanche in North Ossetia

In North Ossetia, the Russian government continued rescue operations after a disastrous avalanche on 20 September, when a large part of the glacier Kolka crashed down a mountainside, generating a huge mudslide. The mudslide destroyed several holiday resorts, sewage disposal plants, water wells, and a 1.5 km stretch of a power line. Approximately 15 houses were covered by the ice mass. The rescue operations involve 493 people, 106 units of machinery, 3 helicopters, and 8 search dogs. According to EMERCOM of Russia, 16 people have been found dead, 120 are missing, and 27 have been rescued.

UN Mission Discusses Health and Shelter Issues in Grozny

On 18 September, a joint UN mission, including representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the World Health Organisation (WHO), went to Grozny to meet the Chechen authorities on health and shelter issues, as part of the process of elaborating the Consolidated Inter-agency Appeal for 2003. In addition, the mission visited a temporary accommodation centre (TAC) in Grozny, a shelter materials distribution point, operated by an UNHCR partner, the People in Need Foundation (PINF), and several houses rehabilitated with these materials. At the shelter sector meeting the delegation pointed out that the situation in the TAC in terms of water provision and sanitation had not improved as compared to the previous visit. The main purpose of the health sector meeting was to discuss the overall health situation, to identify main problems, and to set priorities for the present and for 2003.The TB situation, as well as the UN mother and child healthcare, immunisation, and other programmes were also discussed.



In Ingushetia, the UNHCR continued monitoring the situation with the relocation of IDPs from the Imam IDP camp in Aki-Yurt. The agency assessed 6 of the 11 sites in Ingushetia proposed by the Ingush migration service for the voluntary relocation of IDPs, currently accommodated in the camp. In addition, UNHCR staff visited 6 families of 25 persons, which had already moved to a new place of accommodation and appeared to be satisfied with the conditions there. In addition, UNHCR found alternative shelter for 6 IDP families (35 persons), evicted from a spontaneous settlement in a former factory building, when the owner decided to resume production.


In Chechnya, the World Food Programme (WFP), together with its NGO implementing partners, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), Islamic Relief (IR), and PINF, continued distributing about 1,400 MTs of basic food commodities to 88,300 beneficiaries. As part of the school-feeding project, WFP allocated 168 MTs of mixed food commodities to its NGO partners for further distribution to schools in Grozny city, Grozny rural district, and Ahkhoy-Martanovsky, Gudermes and Sunzhensky rayons of the republic. In addition, the agency provided about 20 MTs to Caritas Internationalis, DRC, and PINF for distribution to over 1,700 beneficiaries of its institutional feeding project (hospital patients, children attending kindergartens), primarily in Grozny. Around 3,700 persons in Grozny received over 100 MTs of food under the WFP food-for-work project, carried out in partnership with PINF. In Ingushetia, WFP provided more than 1,100 MTs of basic food commodities to DRC, IR, and the Saudi Red Crescent Society for distribution among 80,900 IDPs.

Shelter and Non-food Items

In Chechnya, UNHCR, in cooperation with PINF, resumed deliveries of roofing sheets to complete the sets of shelter materials provided for the reconstruction of 'one dry room' in over 3,500 private houses, assessed in 2001, and in 1,500 houses, assessed in 2002. In Ingushetia in Berd-Yurt, UNHCR, together with DRC, continued supporting the individual houses construction and income generating activities aimed at integrating IDPs from Chechnya (ethnic Ingush) into the Ingush society. The construction of an UNHCR-funded carpentry workshop was started, where skilled IDPs will produce box tents, beds, etc.

Help, a German NGO, continued giving priority in non-food assistance to IDPs from Chechnya, accommodated in host families and spontaneous settlements in Ingushetia. By the end of September, the current distribution of hygienic items, started on 16 August, reached over 3,300 IDP families in Nazran region. About 5,800 IDP families benefited from the ongoing bed items distribution started on 10 August.


WHO started distributing medical equipment to selected maternity and paediatric departments of hospitals in Chechnya and Ingushetia. In Ingushetia, it provided assistance to maternity wards of three district hospitals in Malgobeksky, Nazranovsky and Sunzhensky rayons. In Chechnya, the agency carried out partial distribution to selected functional health facilities in Grozny. In addition, it delivered games and sport items to 4 children rehabilitation centres in Grozny, and to 2 psychiatric hospitals in Chechnya. UNICEF continued promoting safe motherhood and childhood practices through assisting maternity and paediatric hospitals and outpatient clinics in Chechnya and NGO-run clinics in Ingushetia, providing them with basic drugs, mother and child healthcare kits and medical consumables.

Water and Sanitation

The Polish Humanitarian Organisation (PHO), a UNICEF NGO partner, continued producing and distributing potable water at about 150 distribution points around Grozny. It resumed the project of garbage and sewage disposal in hospitals, polyclinics, and schools in Grozny, where 150 m3 of garbage had accumulated. In Ingushetia, UNICEF distributed 2,000 bars of soap and 60 litres of anti-parasites substance to patients in hospitals.


The third UNICEF-funded kindergarten for IDP children opened in Ingushetia, in Altiyevo. The Caritas Internationalis NGO runs the facility, which caters for 50 children.

Mine Action*

In Chechnya, a group of children with amputated arms as a result of mine accidents continued attending training sessions of a UNICEF-funded football team in Grozny, while 25 mine affected adolescents proceeded with their English and computer classes under UNICEF's vocational training course. The UNICEF/WHO-supported prosthetic centre in Vladikavkaz provided prosthesis to 8 children-mine victims and delivered 17 corsets to mine affected IDP children and women in spontaneous settlements in Ingushetia. WHO began a new round of its prosthetic assistance programme for IDP amputees from Chechnya, taking 14 invalids to the Vladikavkaz prosthetic centre for measuring and fitting the prosthetic devices. Ten child mine victims continued visiting the UNICEF-supported physical rehabilitation centre in Vladikavkaz for special exercises, massage, and physiotherapy. Psychologists from an NGO, New Education, a UNICEF partner, provided consultations to 14 mine victims in the prosthetic and the physical rehabilitation centres. Eleven IDP children received psychological counselling by psychologists from Let's Save the Generation and New Education NGOs at a tent rehabilitation centre in B camp. Twenty-four war-affected children from Chechnya continued receiving group and individual psychosocial treatment at the specialised psychological centre in Vladikavkaz.

* Mine action in this report refers to one or a combination of the following activities: mine awareness, victim assistance, and vocational training.

Produced by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Tel: (7095) 956-6405; Fax: (7095) 956-6355; email: Zotikova@un.org

Please send any contributions for the next bulletin to OCHA by 16 October 2002

For more information, please contact us directly or refer to: www.ocha.ru or www.reliefweb.int

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