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UNICEF to Spend $1.45 Million Assisting Displaced People from South Ossetia, Georgia

Geneva, August 26: UNICEF is ramping up its response to the immediate needs of children and their mothers from South Ossetia affected by the conflict in Georgia.

Initially about 30,000 people, 80 per cent women and children, fled north into the Russian Federation where they were being housed in temporary accommodations and with families.

UNICEF has been asked by the government of North Ossetia to contribute to improving the living conditions of displaced children still temporarily accommodated in public institutions. UNICEF will now expand the coverage of its current programme activities in the Northern Caucasus to meet this request.

Rashed Mustafa, head of UNICEF office in the North Caucasus said his team had conducted widespread assessments of the condition of children, and found that although they were being well cared for, there was an urgent need for psychological assistance. Specialists in this field will conduct further assessments this week to provide psychosocial support to children and women. “UNICEF has considerable experience in this field conducting an extensive psychosocial recovery programme in the aftermath of the Beslan school crisis in 2004,” Mustafa said.

Closely paired with psychological recovery, is ensuring that displaced children get back to school, a second UNICEF priority in this crisis. “With the school year starting in just a week, on 1 September, there is an urgent need to ensure the children don’t miss out on school and to give them a sense of normality,” said Mustafa.

UNICEF is preparing to equip the displaced children with essential school supplies, including schoolbags, pens, pencils, school diaries and exercise books.

For further information, please contact:

John Budd, UNICEF CEE/CIS Regional Office, Geneva, Tel: +41 22 909 5429 email: jbudd@unicef.org

 

 
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