The collapse of communism and the rise of ethnic strife plunged the southern fringes of the former Soviet Union into turmoil, particularly in the Caucasus where some 1.5 million people had been forced from their homes in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. 

Although there was sporadic media coverage of the fighting, the world was largely unaware of the human suffering that followed for hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people in all three republics.  WomenAid International was invited to provide assistance in the region.

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"The Administration of Yerevan school number 48, Mushegh Ishkha, expresses its deepest gratitude to WomenAid International.  Thanks to your activities Armenian children will feel more comfortable this winter. Armenian people will never forget those  who have done such an important job"

'Ts. K. Ghazarian, School Director
Chief Doctor K.V. Sekoyan 

ARMENIA

WomenAid International, as an implementing partner of the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO),  provided large scale humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of people in need.  

Over 2000 tonnes of supplementary food and hygienic items were distributed to 125,000 long stay hospital patients and to 388,000 school children suffering from an inadequate diet.

WomenAid, as one of the key operational partners of the UN World Food Programme in the region distributed almost 8,000 tonnes of food to 140,000 refugees and 100,000 IDPs, internally displaced people throughout the country.

Due to the severe economic crisis following the collapse of the USSR and war with Azerbaijan, the Armenian government was unable to repair hospitals, schools and institutions. 

WomenAid International, funded by ECHO, trained over 500 workers and implemented major repairs in 33 key national hospitals and 22 schools.  The project was implemented in four months.

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"Administration of the Clinical Hospital No.8 expresses its deepest gratitude to WomenAid International for carrying out the repair works in our institution. At present, when the State has no means to help us, your activities are becoming more valuable."

Chief Doctor, K V Sekoyan.

"The Republic of Armenia, Ministry of Health, expresses its gratitude to WomenAid International for carrying out the Hospitals Repair Programme during these difficult times in Armenia.  I know this programme is the only one of its kind in Armenia on such a scale being implemented by humanitarian organisations.  I should like to remark the short time scale of the programme within which the workers managed to do the repair construction works at a highly professional level."

Deputy Minister Health, G Shmavonian. 

GEORGIA

Extreme hardship and deprivation was experienced by the entire population as Georgia, once one of the richest states of the former USSR, became one of the poorest successor states. The gaining of independence in 1991 triggered off ethnic conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia leading to a civil war. As a result there was a massive displacement of people.  Necessary economic reforms inflicted further hardship on the poor.

WomenAid emergency food programmes provided over 2000 tonnes of food to internally displaced people (IDP's) and 115,000 pre-school children in kindergartens throughout the country.  Street children in Tbilisi were also assisted.

In partnership with the UN World Food Programme, WomenAid delivered winter food supplies to refugees and other vulnerable people, living in the highest villages in Europe, in the remote mountains of Svaneti and Kodory Valley, Apkhazeti.

 

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Street children find shelter from freezing winter weather in an abandoned building in Mtsketa, Republic of Georgia.

Visit Womenaid International's Georgian Partner Organisation for an update on activities in Caucasus:

WOMENAID CAUCASUS

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Children in a Tbilisi Kindergarten show their appreciation of the year long supplementary feeding programme delivered by WomenAid International.

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