UNICEF Helps Vulnerable Families Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic

In April alone, 380 boxes of supplies were delivered to a number of villages, including those in the vicinity of conflict zones.

Giorgi Lomsadze for UNICEF Georgia
Humanitarian Action in Nikozi
UNICEF/GEO-2020/Blagonravova
02 July 2020

Ketevan Ioseliani shares her bedroom with her three kids and soon will have to make space for the fourth one. “I’m expecting soon,” she says as she is making dinner in a rundown kitchen, where bricks peek through the crumbling plaster on the walls.

With her husband being away, serving in Georgia’s peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, the 28-year-old Ioseliani makes a hand-to-mouth living in the Georgian village of Nikozi, an area fraught with separatist tensions. “I don’t work, but the children are keeping me busy,” she says.

The kids are in for a special treat today. UNICEF delivered an assistance package, containing food and hygiene items. “The kids don’t really like to eat a lot, but in that box we found some of their favorite food items,” said Ioseliani, while stirring a pot on gas stove.   

"The COVID-19 pandemic has created difficulties for everybody, but for the most vulnerable families it is extremely hard."

Ghassan Khalil

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created difficulties for everybody, but for the most vulnerable families it is extremely hard. UNICEF continues to support the Government of Georgia in reaching out to the most vulnerable families in remote areas to make sure that they receive adequate and appropriate support, assistance, and care,” said Ghassan Khalil, UNICEF representative in Georgia.

While Ketevan is busy in the kitchen, the other lady of the house, her seven-year-old daughter Salome is eager to give a house tour. “My sister and I sleep here, my mother and my brother sleep over there,” she says pointing at two beds that standing next to one another. She then shows a corner nearby, her and her sisters study desk that is cluttered with dolls and books.

Humanitarian Action in Nikozi
UNICEF/GEO-2020/Blagonravova

“It took us a while to figure out that Mariam, had a hearing impairment,” says Ioseliani of her oldest daughter. “She had a surgery when she was four and now, thankfully, I received a little bit of funding to take her to a speech therapist.”

Ioseliani needs to travel to capital Tbilisi every now and then to buy batteries for her Mariam’s hearing aid device and other supplies that are not available in the village. Those trips were interrupted by state of emergence declared by Georgian authorities in March to contain spreading of COVID-19. Intercity travel was banned, public transportation suspended and shelter-in-place hours introduced.

UNICEF, in cooperation with government authorities and support of the UK government, began delivering essential supplies to vulnerable households that were particularly affected by the restrictions.

In April alone, 380 boxes of supplies were delivered to a number of villages, including those in the vicinity of conflict zones.

UNICEF