The IRC Provides Emergency Relief to Chechen Refugees
|For the elderly, crowded conditions exacerbate their illnesses.|
The sites which are not officially recognized by Ingush authorities are receiving the least amount of humanitarian aid, and the IRC is focusing its assistance on these underserved locations. Since many of the displaced fled during the summer, the IRC is providing supplies that are necessary for survival in the current cold temperatures. IRC coordinator for Chechnya, Gillian Dunn, has been arranging the distribution of winter clothing and children's shoes, blankets and mattresses and materials to build sleeping platforms and repair dilapidated shelter. The IRC is also procuring relief items to respond to specific needs at camps, including antiseptics, detergents, diapers and cooking sets.
|This small boy tries on winter boots, provided by the IRC. Like many displaced Chechens, his family fled the fighting before the onset of winter — without adequate supplies or clothing for the cold.|
As a result of the large influx of Chechens into Ingushetia, Martone says quality water is scarce and inadequate sanitation is a big problem. He says the IRC will be implementing a program that involves constructing and maintaining bathing facilities, latrines, garbage disposal areas and suitable drainage. In addition, insecticides, anti-lice shampoo, anti-rodent agents and disinfectants will also be made available.
The IRC has also launched an emergency project to ensure that Chechen children are not left behind in terms of education. In late January, the IRC brought a group of Chechen teachers and youth leaders to Moscow for an intensive training in teaching techniques, course content and psychological counseling skills. IRC-sponsored classes and activities are now underway and the IRC continues to distribute basic materials like paper, textbooks and pencils. Chechnya coordinator Gillian Dunn says violent conflict has frequently interrupted the education of many of the children and some are first learning their letters and numbers now.