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OCHA-Georgia Information Bulletin for the period 01-10 Oct 2002

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Georgia
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OCHA
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Assistance to the Earthquake-Affected Population
As a result of the earthquake that occurred in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, on 25 April 2002, six persons died and a large number of buildings in Tbilisi suffered damage in varying degrees.

Starting from the following day of the earthquake, the Tbilisi Mayor's Office and the Ministry of Urbanisation and Construction's (MoUC) special departments assessed 21, 506 sites - 20,779 in Tbilisi, 289 in Mtskheta-Mtianeti region, and 438 in Kvemo Kartli region.

In Tbilisi, 19,235 dwellings were assessed and divided into three categories according to the level of damage. An electronic database was created with information about the damaged buildings and addresses. A majority of the population of Nadzaladevi district in Tbilisi was identified as under threat of landslides and possible seismic events that could negatively impact the situation.

A total of 202 schools and 161 kindergartens were assessed and categorised. Recommendations were given to suspend classes or to avoid using certain classrooms. Cultural buildings such as State Opera building, the Conservatory, musical schools, the Armenian theatre and other historical and cultural buildings were also seriously damaged.

A total of 26 churches were assessed in Tbilisi and its suburbs, and some of them need urgent repairs. A special group evaluated 37 buildings under the Ministry of Justice, of which a few need urgent repairs, especially those of penitentiary system. Seventy-six buildings belonging to the healthcare system need urgent repair.

The Moscow Mayor's Office assisted the Tbilisi #1 Gymnasium. The needs assessment results and list of required rehabilitation expenses has been sent to Moscow.

In order to assist the earthquake-affected population, the Tbilisi Mayor's Office decided to purchase houses/apartments and provide the affected population with temporary shelter until their shelter problem is resolved. So far 260 apartments were purchased, and 206 families have been provided with temporary shelter. The process is ongoing.

Various commercial organisations and companies purchased and distributed food aid through local Gamgeoba offices to assist the affected population. International organisations and UN agencies assisted the population with blankets, beds, linen and food. The Georgian-Turkish Foundation provided the affected population with 25 tonnes of food. The Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia also sent 38 tonnes of humanitarian aid. Twenty-five schools in Tbilisi are under construction, or already rehabilitated.

Women for Conflict Prevention and Peace Building in Southern Caucasus

The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) implements the project "Women for Conflict Prevention and Peace Building in the Southern Caucasus". The project is regional and is implemented in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

The project supports the capacities of women to participate in the peacebuilding processes and maintains that women have a strong commitment to the maintenance of a long-term peace in the Southern Caucasus. In the framework of the project, and as a follow-up to the training for Gali civic activists, the Women's Council of Gali was established recently on the basis of the NGO "Association of the Women of Gali for Human and Fair Society".

The Council is envisaged as a network in which women from throughout Gali districts are involved. Its Board includes 17 women of various professions. The Women's Council decided to take an active part in the peacebuilding process and to organise celebration of the First International Peace Day on 21 September 2002 in Gali as their first activity.

These festivities dedicated to the International Day of Peace: children's folk dance ensemble and elderly peoples folk choir preformed for more than 300 guests including representatives of UNIFEM, the UN Observer Mission In Georgia (UNOMIG), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and international organisations, representatives of local authorities and NGOs from Tbilisi, Sukhumi and Tkvarcheli, local residents and women from Gali and Gali districts attended the event. During the event the Women's Council of Gali was introduced.

For more information, please contact Ms. Lela Bakradze, UNIFEM Project National Co-ordinator. Address: 9 Eristavi St, UN House, Tbilisi. E-mail: lela.bakradze@undp.org

SECTORS

Food Aid

In September 2002 Counterpart International donated rice and soy protein to 1,368 beneficiaries (children, orphans, invalids, large families, veterans, elderly and IDPs) through 11 different Georgian NGOs.

Healthcare

Genesis Association provides medical aid to children from the Rehabilitation Center "Child and Environment". The organisation conducted medical checkups (including ultra-sound and laboratory examination) of 42 children at its clinic. The therapists at the Genesis clinic provided recommendations and medical treatment for the examined children.

LOCAL NGO SPOTLIGHT

The Union Tanadgoma is a local NGO established in 2001. The main aim of the organisation is to protect the rights of children and women. Priority activities of the organisation include the employment of single mothers, provision of small credits to women, assistance to large families, healthcare issues and running a free soup kitchen for single pensioners.

The Union provides free legal and medical consultations with own resources, however the organisation is looking for financial assistance for the implementation of the above activities.

For more information, please contact Ms. Manana Orjonikidze, Chairperson. Address: Borjomi, 1 Rustaveli Square. Tel.: (8 99) 10 17 85, (8 267) 2 07 13.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

On 3 October 2002 a storm damaged 35 households and 6 state buildings in the village Anaklia in Zugdidi district. The estimated amount of damage to the private sector totals 65,586 GEL, to the state sector - 87,274 GEL. The damaged buildings include the secondary school, gamgeoba offices, ambulatory, hospital, kindergarten and others.) The total amount of the damage equals to 152,860 GEL.

The information about the damage is provided by the Samegrelo and Zemo Svaneti regional staff of the Department of Emergency Situations and Civil Defence of the Ministry of Interior of Georgia.

The South Caucasus Cooperation Program (SCCP), the Eurasia Foundation's regional grantmaking program, recently announced five linkage grants totalling US$ 442,124. Three grants are aimed at strengthening regional collaboration between independent media outlets. The remaining two grants will be used to foster cross-border professional networks and to promote international standards.

SCCP awards grants through a two-step process. During the first step, three partner organisations from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia apply for a contact grant. Contact grants of up to US$1,000 per organisation are used to bring the partners together in order to develop a larger linkage proposal. Linkage projects explore and apply innovative solutions for advancing civil society, developing private enterprise and reforming public policy processes across the South Caucasus.

For more information, please contact Ms. Lisa Butenhoff, Outreach and Development Coordinator, Eurasia Foundation. Tel.: 25-39-42/43. E-mail: lisa@eurasia.org.ge

On 17 October 2002 the United Nations Week will be officially launched. The UN Week will last until 24 October and will include various activities such as children's football championship on the President's cup, a charity concert for vulnerable children, cleaning of Mtkvari river slopes, an exhibition-sale of bio-farmers' products, insulation of doors and windows in the kindergarten #63, the UN expo-show and others.

Produced by OCHA Georgia.

For more information, please contact Ms. Maka Esaiashvili, Information Officer
Tel/Fax: 995-32-959516; Tel: 995-32-943163; e-mail: unocha@unocha.org.ge

Contributions are welcome and should reach OCHA, 9 Eristavi St., Tbilisi by 12.00 hrs. on 9th 19th, and 29th of each month

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.