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Russian Federation/Chechnya: Another harsh winter around the corner

26-11-1998 News Release 98/47

More than two and a half years after the end of hostilities, life in Grozny remains difficult for a great many inhabitants, especially with winter setting in. Reconstruction work has not progressed and the supply of water and heating, cut off during the conflict, has still not been restored to all areas of the city. According to ICRC estimates, about 60,000 vulnerable people living in and around Grozny depend on humanitarian aid for survival. Most of them are elderly members of the Russian minority. 

This week, as part of the ICRC's winter assistance programme, the local Red Cross in Chechnya will receive food, blankets and candles for distribution to about 1,100 people registered in its social welfare and/or visiting nurses programmes. School supplies will also be provided for some 78,000 pupils.

Working from Nalchik, the ICRC supports the efforts of local Red Cross branches to assist particularly vulnerable people in seven republics of the northern Caucasus (Adygeya, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachai-Cherkessia, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Chechnya and Daghestan) and in the territories of Krasnodar and Stavropol in the southern part of the Russian Federation. The ICRC itself runs programmes in the region to help victims of the Chechen and the Ingush-Ossetian conflicts. Altogether, it provides regular assistance in the northern Caucasus for over 3,000 people monthly and another 4,800 quarterly. The ICRC also continues to supply about 10,500 people in Grozny, Argun, Shali, Gudermes and Urus Martan with 12 loaves of bread each per month.

Security conditions still prevent the ICRC from deploying expatriate staff in Chechnya, Daghestan and Ingushetia. Assistance pro grammes in these three republics are therefore conducted from afar with the cooperation of local Red Cross branches and local ICRC staff.