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UNICEF and SIDA launch a new project

By Messenger Staff
Friday, July 10
The Swedish Development Agency (SIDA) and UNICEF launched a new project on July 10. The project envisages ensuring the provision of safe water, sanitation and hygiene in and around IDP collective centres and settlements in the conflict-affected city of Gori, as well as other areas of Georgia, project officials reported. SIDA will provide EUR 2 million to UNICEF to implement this project, carried out in close partnership with the central and local governments in Georgia and in collaboration with implementation partners Action Contre La Faim (ACF) and International Rescue Committee (IRC).

The UNICEF Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent states Steven Allen, Minister of Refugees and Accommodations Koba Subeliani, SIDA Regional Director in the South Caucasus Maria Israelsson and Ms Giovanna Barberis, the UNICEF Representative in Georgia, participated in the trip to the conflict-affected town of Gori and IDP settlements in the villages of Shevshvebi and Berbuki.

Steven Allen, who is visiting Georgia to gain a better understanding of the overall status of children in the country and discuss UNICEF’s ongoing programming in health, education, child protection and child poverty, particularly in the light of the global economic crisis, saw the specific situation of the children affected by the Russian-Georgian conflict. "Last summer we were all touched by the broadcast images of children and their families having to pack their essential belongings and flee their homes,” Steven Allen said. “I am keen to see today what has been done to restore normal childhood activity and ensure basic services for children in the conflict affected areas," he added.

47% of IDPs in the settlements and collective centres lack access to adequate water for daily use, as revealed in a UNICEF-supported assessment of the water, sanitation and hygiene situation of IDPs launched in June 2009 in collaboration with ACF and IRC, officials say. Through the SIDA-supported project UNICEF will assist the Government of Georgia in addressing the water, sanitation and hygiene needs of the IDPs in 21 collective centres and 35 settlements. In addition to infrastructure the project will also focus on community mobilisation and hygiene promotion and ensuring that IDPs have increased knowledge and capacity to protect themselves against water-borne diseases.