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Northern Caucasus: displaced brace for second winter

Briefing notes

Northern Caucasus: displaced brace for second winter

5 September 2000

Aid agencies in Ingushetia are bracing for winter as it becomes clear that some 170,000 people displaced by the war in Chechnya will spend their second winter away from home. Even though there is small-scale border movement between the two republics with some people returning to Chechnya and some still leaving the bulk of the displaced is expected to remain in Ingushetia as instability in Chechnya continues. UNHCR and its operational partners are trying to improve Ingushetia's infrastructure and create better accommodation for the displaced as winter approaches. A new winterised tented camp for 12,000 people is being built at Severni. UNHCR has also committed US $ 400,000 to help the local authorities revamp the crumbling water supply system.

At the same time, there are signals that some of the Chechens might have outstayed their welcome. UNHCR has intervened in cases where the displaced have been evicted or threatened with eviction by either host families or from spontaneously occupied premises. Over the past week, 26 persons have been evicted by their hosts and UNHCR has identified a further 216 persons under immediate threat of eviction. UNHCR and its partners intervene in these cases through mediating with the hosts or finding alternative accommodation, often in tents.

UNHCR continues to run convoys to the northern Caucasus. Since the aid operation started nearly a year ago US $ 12,000,000 worth of aid has been delivered, primarily to Ingushetia but also to Chechnya and the neighbouring republics.