Map of Georgia
UNICEF photo: A child is having polio vaccination in one of the schools in the Gali region of Abkhazia, Georgia. The National Immunization Days were supported by UNICEF and EU. © UNICEF Geogia/2010/Canaud A child is having polio vaccination in one of the schools in the Gali region of Abkhazia, Georgia. The National Immunization Days were supported by UNICEF and EU.

Georgia (Region of Abkhazia)

Updated January 2014

In 2014, UNICEF and partners plan for:
38,000

children aged 6 to 59 months in humanitarian situations are vaccinated against measles

9,000

children access safe community spaces for socializing, playing and learning

2,500

young people aged 12 to 17 years in humanitarian situations access formal and non-formal education

2014 Requirements: US$2,525,000

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Snapshot

Total affected population: 240,000
Total affected children (under 18): 42,000

Total people to be reached in 2014: 70,000
Total children to be reached in 2014: 38,000

As a result of continuous isolation and the sensitive political context, caused by armed conflict in the Region of Abkhazia, 42,000 affected children receive lower quality basic services than their parents did a few decades ago.1 This includes maternal and child healthcare and education and is mainly due to inadequate infrastructure and the limited capacity of service providers. Immunization coverage for the combined diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus vaccine (DPT3) remains as low as 55 per cent in some districts. Access to safe drinking water and sanitation continues to be poor, primarily in rural schools in Abkhazia, where 14 per cent of schools have no access to water, 29 per cent have an insufficient water supply and 39 per cent of schoolchildren are reluctant to use school sanitation facilities.2 Children with disabilities live in isolation, including within their families, and lack opportunities for integration, social inclusion and education. No programmes exist at any level to detect or respond to violence, abuse or exploitation of children. Reports indicate that the prevalence of HIV and AIDS in Abkhazia is higher than in the rest of Georgia, and that the population’s level of information about HIV and AIDS is also very low in the region.3 The situation in Abkhazia is exacerbated by the community’s low level of resilience to shocks, including floods, landslides and earthquakes.

Humanitarian strategy

2014 programme targets

Health

  • 38,000 children aged 6 to 59 months in humanitarian situations vaccinated against measles
  • 300 medical professionals receive training in Immunization in Practice, Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses and Effective Perinatal Care

Nutrition

  • Exclusive breastfeeding incorporated as standard practice in 3 main maternity wards in Abkhazia

WASH

  • 6,500 children in humanitarian situations accessing WASH facilities in their learning environments
  • 9,000 schoolchildren in humanitarian situations with appropriate hygiene practices in their learning environments

Child protection

  • 9,000 children provided with access to safe community spaces for socializing, playing and learning

Education

  • 2,500 young people (12 to 17 years of age) in humanitarian situations accessing formal and non-formal education

HIV and AIDS

  • 1,200 women of reproductive age in humanitarian situations accessing HIV and AIDS prevention information
  • 300 young parents in humanitarian situations accessing HIV and AIDS prevention information

UNICEF will sustain its humanitarian and development assistance to conflict-affected children in Abkhazia in 2014. To address the multiple negative effects of protracted conflict and an uncertain future for isolated rural poor and returnee communities, UNICEF will work with partners to respond to the needs of 38,000 girls and boys (0 to 18 years of age). Support will focus on strengthening the delivery and quality of basic services. Within the health and nutrition sector, UNICEF will work to secure a coordinated response to child survival by facilitating the safe delivery of newborns, newborn care and breastfeeding promotion. Provision of vaccines and essential medical supplies and the delivery of training and information, education and communication materials will benefit 70,000 women and children. Reliable access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities for 6,500 children in up to 30 rural communities will be provided through small-scale infrastructure rehabilitation and hygiene promotion in schools and primary health facilities. UNICEF will work with a network of 48 social community centres and three specialized centres for children with disabilities to strengthen its approaches to raising community awareness and building capacity to prevent, address and monitor the negative impact of violence, sexual exploitation and abuse of children and women; extend child care and support interventions for children living with disabilities; and improve access to quality education for conflict-affected children and youth.

Results from 2013

UNICEF appealed for US$2,310,000 for 2013, and as of the end of October 2013, a total of US$300,000 or 13 per cent of requirements, had been received in contributions. Despite this, UNICEF managed to continue its multi-sector intervention in Abkhazia, which focused on maternal and child healthcare and social protection for women and children, including children with disabilities, in isolated rural and returnee communities. UNICEF and its implementing partners reached over 8,700 of the most vulnerable children through a network of 48 community centres offering learning and development opportunities for children, including sports, play and the promotion of healthy lifestyles, as well as recreational and learning activities for pre-school children. UNICEF supported the establishment of an immunization registry database that includes over 40,000 children under 17 years of age, and better planning of supplementary immunization, increasing the overall immunization coverage rates by an average of 12 per cent in 2013. UNICEF also supported the introduction of international newborn care standards in the three main maternity wards in Abkhazia and trained 270 medical professionals in Immunization in Practice and Effective Perinatal Care. Based on the joint situation assessment of WASH in schools, UNICEF and Action Contre la Faim (ACF) launched a pilot project on WASH in schools in five returnee communities in Abkhazia, restoring the water supply in schools and engaging 951 children and over 100 teachers in hygiene education and promotion activities through community initiative groups. This result is significantly lower than planned targets due to access restrictions for UNICEF’s implementing partners, including ACF, throughout the region.

*data extrapolated from the UNICEF supported Immunization Registry Data-base, refers to number of children registered to have received at least part of vaccines as provided in the revised Immunization Calendar

Funding requirements

Building on the Basic Social Services Assessment conducted by UNICEF in 2012, in collaboration with other international and local partners grouped in the Abkhazia Strategic Partnership (ASP) coordination mechanism and its recommended priority actions, UNICEF is requesting a total of US$2,525,000 for humanitarian action in the Abkhazia region, in addition to the resources available within the UNICEF Rolling Work Plan for 2011-2012 and 2013-2015 (currently under revision). Contributions to UNICEF activities in the region during 2014 will enhance the capacity to address the effects that the protracted conflict has had on the well-being of children in Abkhazia, especially those children in the isolated rural and returnee areas.

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1 UNICEF immunization registry database.
2 United Nations Children’s Fund and Action Contre la Faim, ‘Water Sanitation & Hygiene Assessment in Schools in Abkhazia’, June 2012.
3 United Nations Children’s Fund, ‘Humanitarian Action Priorities in Abkhazia’, 2012.