International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The IRC in the Northern Caucasus (Russia)

The Northern Caucasus is a region on the southern border of the Russian Federation, which includes the republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan. The region was torn apart by the first and second Chechen wars between 1994 and 2001. An estimated 300,000 people in Chechnya were forced to flee their homes, with many seeking safety in neighboring Ingushetia and Dagestan. Today, the region is still coping with the consequences of those conflicts. Both remain poor and marginalized. Although a fragile peace is holding in Chechnya, the region is plagued by instability and violence fueled by ethnic tensions and attacks by armed groups targeted at authorities, particularly in Ingushetia and Dagestan. The entire region suffers from underdeveloped infrastructure, high unemployment, weak and unresponsive government, and corruption.

How We Help

The International Rescue Committee began working in the North Caucasus during the first Chechen war and responded again following the start of the second Chechen war. Since 2000, the IRC has been working to support those affected by conflict in the region. Programs initially concentrated on emergency aid to the displaced in Ingushetia and Dagestan. With Chechnya now relatively stable, the IRC has launched projects that help those affected by conflict to return and resettle, providing assistance in agriculture, livelihoods, shelter, community infrastructure, civil society development and civic recovery.