UNICEF: Protection of women & children in the zone of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict
GENEVA, 11 August 2008 - UNICEF is deeply concerned by the escalation of hostilities in South Ossetia, where reports indicate large numbers of civilian casualties. Women and children are a high proportion of those caught in the conflict and seeking safety.
UNICEF joins the international community in calling for an immediate end to hostilities and appeals to all parties to ensure the safety and protection, including access to humanitarian assistance, of all civilians, particularly women and children.
UNICEF is working closely with UN agencies on the ground, assessing the situation and immediate needs. At present, access to the zones of conflict is extremely difficult. Offers of humanitarian assistance have been made by the UN to the governments of Georgia and Russia Federation.
UNICEF has offices in Tbilsi, Georgia, and in Moscow, and Vladikavkaz (North Ossetia) in the Russian Federation, where it is working closely with government counterparts and partners in the implementation of country programmes of cooperation. They are closely monitoring the situation and have regular contact with the relevant government authorities.