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Emergency action of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement for the North Caucasus and the South of Russia

30-09-2000 Operational Update





 With the recent reactivation of its logistic base in Grozny the ICRC, in co-operation with its partner, the Chechen branch of the Russian Red Cross, was able to reinforce the programmes it has been implementing since March 2000 (bread distribution, surgical assistance to hospitals, medical consultations for the most vulnerable, water and sanitation for residents). For the time being the ICRC base in Grozny is staffed only with national employees, most of them working with the ICRC for years.  


 In 2001 the ICRC plans to strengthen its activities in favour of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the North Caucasus by building up its present programmes (food distribution, medical assistance, water and sanitation, mine awareness, psychological and legal assistance) and launching additional ones (orthopaedic project) with special emphasis on Chechnya.  









  •  In February 2000 the ICRC launched an annual appeal for 25 mln dollars in order to finance it's activities in the Russian Federation. About three quarters of this amount has been allocated to respond to the humanitarian emergency in the North Caucasus.  





  •  As a reminder, in November 1999 the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, under the leadership of the ICRC, launched the first appeal for about 11 mln dollars for a five month emergency plan initiated after the fighting resumed in the North Caucasus.  










 Food assistance (dry food, hot meals and bread)  


 The bulk of the ICRC assistance in the North Caucasus is distributed in Ingushetia. Ingushetia currently hosts about 150'000 IDPs from Chechnya which is a heavy burden for the Republic.There are 6 major camps accomodating about 25'000 to 28'000 people each. But the majority of the displaced people from Chechnya live in host families, straining their economic conditions. Significant movement of IDPs back to Chechnya is unlikely to happen this winter.  


 The ICRC supports IDP's on a regular basis with food (family parcels, wheat flour), reaching between 45'000 and 55'000 persons every month. The ICRC covers almost all displaced population in Ingushetia on a three-month cycle basis through 160 points of distribution.   


 In addition to the aforementioned distributions, the ICRC supports two programmes of the Russian Red Cross (RRC) local branch, which distributes weekly 3 loaves of bread to each of about 20'000 beneficiaries in IDP camps and 5 hot meals to each of 2'000 particularly vulnerable beneficiaries from 8 soup kitchens.  


 Shelter and hygiene  


 Besides food, the ICRC distributes to the displaced people in Ingushetia hygienic kits, kitchen sets, candles, plastic sheeting and tarpaulins. This assistance is carried out with the aim of making living conditions as acceptable as possible.  


 Furthermore, the RRC local branch has been provinding the displaced families with clothes and mattresses.  


 Water and sanitation  


 The ICRC has spared no effort to make drinking water available wherever there are major concentrations of IDPs in Ingushetia. During the summer period, the ICRC improved hygienic situation in camps by building shower installations which have been much appreciated. Currently shower cabins are being insulated     for harsh winter conditions.  


 Medical assistance  


 Since the beginning of the operation, the ICRC has been providing assistance to all five hospitals in Ingushetia, enabling them to treat up to 1'800 surgical cases. It is closely monitoring the situation in the hospitals and will deliver medical assistance whenever it is needed.  


 The ICRC also supports three mobile medical teams and one stationary medical post set up by the Russian Red Cross in order to provide IDP's with basic health care.  


 The RRC visiting nurses programme is providing to bedridden elders (about 200 beneficiaries) with basic care (medical, food and non food).  


 Mine awareness  


 Constant increase in the number of victims of landmines and unexploded ordnance among the civilian population in Chechnya is of particular concern for the ICRC. A "mine awareness programme" has therefore been started in Ingushetia. Its aim is to inform IDPs on the dangers these weapons represent and to teach them some basic rules of behaviour in order to limit the risk of accidents when they return home. Collection of information on mine accidents has been already completed, the main risk groups identified and some basic messages for them were formulated at a seminar held in August.  





 (  September 2000)  

 16'279 food parcels  

 539 T wheat flour  

 260'000 loaves of bread  

 52'000 hot meals (portions)  



 (September 2000)  

 16'279 hygienic kits  

 8'167 blankets  

 14 wood eaters/lamps/ burners  

 600 sq meters of plastic sheeting  

 65'126 candles  



 (September 2000)  

 Overall: 10'000 m3  

 Daily: 316m3  

 Showers: 10 (98 cabins)  

 Bladders: 22  

 Reservoirs: 35  

 Water trucks: 16  






 MEDICAL CONSULTATIONS  (September 2000)  

 3364 consultations  

 1486 of them for children  









 The ICRC, which suspended its operations in Chechnya for security reasons in November 1999, resumed its activities in the territory of the Republic at the end of March 2000, first of all assessing the most urgent needs and then responding accordingly.  


 Regular assessment missions have been undertaken since then by the ICRC and RRC local staff to Grozny, Achkhoy-Martan, Urus-Martan, Argun, Gudermes, Shali and some other places. Expatriate teams also visited Grozny, the last one - at the end of September 2000. In October, the ICRC has reopened its logistic base in Grozny staffed with local employees.  


 The most urgent needs of the population have been identified as lack of food, medicines, clean drinking water and shelter. Emergency medical assistance was also delivered to local hospitals allowing the treatement of about 1'700 surgical cases.  


 In May joint ICRC-Russian Red Cross programmes of free bread distribution and of home-visiting nurses were reactivated. In September, over 15'200 people in Grozny, Shali, Gudermes, Argun, Urus-Martan and Achkhoi-Martan were provided with bread. 720 bedridden elderly in these towns have been assisted on a regular basis by 57 home visiting nurses. ICRC has also helped the local branch of the Red Cross to organise three mobile medical units which will assist the local population. A fixed medical dispensary has also been opened in Grozny.  


 The reactivation and rehabilitation of PS-1, the main water source for Grozny, are underway.  


 The ICRC intends to step up and extend its programmes in the Republic of Chechnya in the near future.  







 Food assistance (dry food, hot meals and bread)  


 In Daghestan the ICRC, in co-operation with the Russian Red Cross local branch, began to assist Daghestanis, displaced as a result of hostilities and accommodated in collective centres and private sector in Makhachkala and Buinaksk, as early as 10 August 1999. The ICRC is also providing assistance to Chechens who found refuge in Daghestan. Currently, the ICRC directly assists about 12'000 of them on a regular basis.  


 Like in Ingushetia, the RRC local branch runs a bakery, covering the needs in bread of about 8'000 IDPs, and two soup kitchens, regularly providing about 2'700 especially vulnerable IDPs with hot meals.  


 Non-food assistance  


 Furthermore, the ICRC provides IDPs with hygienic kits, kitchen sets, candles, tarpaulins, plastic sheeting and jerrycans which will help them to improve their sanitary and living conditions.  


 Medical assistance  


 The Russian Red Cross also runs 2 mobile medical units in Daghestan, providing medical services to the IDP's since December 1999. About 6'200 patients, including more than 2'000 children, have already benefited from this assistance. The ICRC has also provided local medical facilities with necessary material allowing them to treat 645 surgical cases.  


 The local branch of the Russian Red Cross is also running a home visiting nurse programme for about 440 beneficiaries, mainly bedridden elderly.  





 (September 2000)  

 2253 food parcels  

 39 T wheat flour  

 78'000 loaves of bread  

 18'200 hot meals (portions)  



 (September 2000)  

 2'256 hygienic kits  

 5'286 blankets  

 681 kitchen sets  

 14'360 m2 of plastic sheeting  

 198 tarpaulins  

 680 jerrycans  



 (September 2000)  

 952 consultations  

 258 of them for children  








 Food assistance (dry food, hot meals and bread)  


 In the South of Russia (Astrakhan, Volgograd, Krasnodar, Rostov, Saratov, Stavropol, Kalmykia, Adygea), the RRC, supported by the ICRC, is distributing on monthly basis food parcels and wheat flour to more than 16'000 beneficiaries coming from Chechnya.  


 3'500 internally displaced persons from Chechnya, accommodated in North-Ossetia, and 3'500 IDP's accommodated in public buildings in Kabardino-Balkaria, have been provided with ad hoc food and non-food assistance (food parcels, wheat flour and hygienic kits).  


 Like in the other republics, the local Red Cross operates a soup kitchen and a bakery in North Ossetia, providing bread to 2000 beneficiaries and hot meals to 300 beneficiaries.  


 Non-food assistance  


 In addition to food, hygienic kits have been distributed to 16'000 beneficiaries in the South of Russia. Over 8'000 internally displaced people were provided with shoes and clothes since December 1999 in North Ossetia and more than 1'800 - in Kabardino-Balkaria. These distributions were carried out by the RRC local branches.  


 Medical assistance  


 Military hospitals in Nalchik, Mozdok, Vladikavkaz, Kislovodsk and Pyatigorsk have been assisted by the ICRC with emergency and surgical material to treat over 1'400 surgical cases.  


 The Mozdok regional Epidemiological Centre has been provided with medical material on a monthly basis.  


 Blankets, bed linen and candles were handed over to a Tyrnhaus hospital for victims of mudslides.  


 In these regions, the Russian Red Cross, supported by the ICRC, runs also a home visiting nurses pregramme for the elderly, about 1000 beneficiaries.  


 Psychological and legal counselling  


 In the South of Russia the Russian Red Cross, supported by the ICRC and the International Federation, provides IDPs from Chechnya with psycho-social counselling and legal advice.  




(September 2000)
14'740 Food parcels
96 T Wheat flour


(September 2000)
36'068 Hygienic kits











 Since the 17th of May, the ICRC delegates have visited 27 detention places inside and outside Chechnya where persons detained in connection with the Chechen situation are held.  


 The detainees visited by the ICRC have also the opportunity to correspond with their relatives through Red Cross messages.  


 These visits are being conducted after President Vladimir Putin gave assurances to the ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger, during talks held in Moscow in March, that the ICRC delegates would be granted access to all persons detained in connection with the Chechen crisis, wherever they are being held.  






 (September 2000)  


 In Chechnya: 3  

 Outside Chechnya: 2  

 TOTAL: 5  



 (Since May 2000)  


 In Chechnya 11  

 Outside Chechnya: 24  

 TOTAL: 35  

 Number of places visited: 28  







 While the main objective of dissemination of IHL to the armed forces in the Russian Federation is to integrate the essential notions of international humanitarian law into the training programme of officers and soldiers, the ICRC makes also a special effort to directly address troops engaged in the North Caucasus whenever it is possible in order to inform them about the basics of the law of war and on the ICRC.  


 A travelling exhibition, which presents the IHL, the Red Cross Movement, the ICRC and its objectives, is being shown in the regions of the North Caucasus and the South of Russia. After Tuapse, in the Krasnodar region, it is now on display in Nalchik (Kabardino-Balkaria) and arouses sustained interest of the public.  





  •  Ministry of Interior: 4 presentations - 430 soldiers and sergeants  

  •  Ministry of Defense: 1 presentation- 110 soldiers and sergeants  

  •  Border Guards Service: 1 presentation - 70 soldiers and sergeants  







 12 expatriates permanently based in Nalchik and 298 national staff all over the North Caucasus  


 RUSSIAN RED CROSS   Regular staff - 137 (plus 6 HQ staff in Moscow). RRC can mobilise hundreds of voluntary workers to support its operation in the region.  



 Delegates and local staff in Moscow offer support to the Russian Red Cross outside the North Caucasus  







 What's in a food parcel?  


 1 l vegetable oil  

 1 kg sugar  

 3 kg spaghetti  

 3 kg rice  

 2 kg canned food  

 0,5 kg salt  

 100 g yeast  



 What's in a hygienic kit?  


 2,5 kg washing powder  

 12 rolls of toilette paper  

 500 gr of soap  

 5 tubes of toothpaste  

 5 toothbrushesS  

 5 disposable razors  

 80 sanitary towels  

 1 bath towel  




 What's in a kitcheS set?  


 1 cooking pot (7 l)  

 1 frying pan  

 5 bowls  

 5 plates  

 5 cups  

 5 knives  

 5 forks  

 5 table spoons  

 What kind of surgical assistance?  


 Dressing materials (bandages, cotton, gauze)  


 Medecines for narcosis  



 Accessories for infusions (IV sets, tubes, catheters etc.)  


 X-ray material