Aug 30, 2004

Abkhazia: Four Million Euros to Victims of Abkhazia/Georgia Conflict

The European Commission has approved a €4 Million Humanitarian Aid Package that will be allocated via the Humanitarian Aid Office ECHO to support vulnerable People in Georgia
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Western Georgia, including Abkhazia, continues to be characterised by largely forgotten needs. After showing interest and support for several years in the wake of the civil conflict, the international humanitarian community has progressively withdrawn from the region. This was partly because of hopes that the situation would improve and the idea that problems needed to be addressed through structural instruments, and partly due to donor fatigue.

The conflict which erupted in 1992 in the breakaway republic of Abkhazia led to the displacement of over 250,000 people. A UN-brokered agreement signed by the Georgian and Abkhaz parties in 1994 put an end to the fighting, but very few displaced people returned to Abkhazia. Tensions remain very high and dialogue has not really resumed between the two parties. As a result of the conflict, Abkhazia is a devastated region. Its population has shrunk from an estimated 500,000 people before the war to some 100,000 to 150,000 people, 20,000 of whom are considered as destitute. On the other side of the dividing line, tens of thousands of Georgians who have left Abkhazia are still displaced within Georgia, particularly in the Western part, where around half of the displaced people from Abkhazia still live.

This new financial support will enable the provision of basic food to the 80,000 most destitute people in Western Georgia, including Abkhazia, and fund food-for-work projects targeting some 60,000 people in the same area. It will also fund food and income generation projects for about 5,000 vulnerable people. A mother-and-child heathcare project will focus on improving access for women to health care in Western Georgia. The decision will also fund the basic rehabilitation of around 20 derelict collective centres for displaced people, as well as five children’s homes in Tbilissi.

Source: Eurofunding