The ICRC in Georgia
Present in Georgia since 1992, the ICRC contributes to efforts to provide answers to families of missing persons and protects and assists displaced people and other vulnerable groups in conflict-affected regions. It promotes the implementation of international humanitarian law and visits detainees, providing expertise on health-related issues, particularly tuberculosis, in places of detention.
The effects of the armed conflict between Georgian troops and Russian forces in South Ossetia in August 2008 continue to be felt by the civilian population living along the Abkhaz and South Ossetian administrative boundaries.
The closure of these boundaries and related arrests affect civilians’ freedom of movement, worsening existing economic problems. Many internally displaced people (IDP) have returned to their homes to find difficult living conditions, while thousands of others have been unable to return and are accommodated in collective centres or newly built government IDP settlements.
The ICRC closely monitors the situation of civilians in central and western Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, adapting its response to needs. It has helped the authorities to renovate collective centres, improving living conditions and sanitation in these centres as well as in state-built settlements.
The organization ensures that vulnerable people receive emergency relief in the form of food and essential household items and, for the winter, clothes and firewood, as well as access to water and electricity.
The delegation also provides agricultural support to people who have lost access to parts of their land, helps residents repair their houses and builds or rehabilitates water supply systems.
In some areas, civilians are still at risk from unexploded munitions, which prevent them from resuming agricultural activities. The ICRC conducts information campaigns to raise public awareness of the risk, and supports physical rehabilitation services in Abkhazia and parts of Georgia.
To extend access to health care, the ICRC rehabilitates clinics and hospitals and donates supplies and equipment. With the permission of the relevant authorities, it also reunites relatives separated by conflict and transports sick people to hospital across the administrative boundaries.
The ICRC also helps the Georgian, Abkhaz and South Ossetian administrations to shed light on the fate of people missing as a result of armed conflicts. The organization regularly visits prisons countrywide to monitor the treatment and conditions of detainees, and supports the authorities’ efforts to curb the spread of tuberculosis in prisons.
The ICRC promotes the integration of international humanitarian law into national legislation and to have it put on the training agenda for the military and included in the curricula of schools and universities.
The ICRC assists the Georgian Red Cross in strengthening its legal base, managing ICRC-supported programmes and improving its emergency response capacities.