Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for Chechnya (Russian Federation) 2005

29 June 2005

The security situation in Chechnya continues to cause humanitarian needs and socio-economic uncertainty both inside Chechnya and in the neighbouring republics.  Low-level confrontations between state security forces and non-state combatants persist, as do other forms of armed violence. Disappearances of civilians, as well as reported torture and other human rights abuses also continue with disturbing frequency.  The infrastructure in Chechnya is largely destroyed and remains incapable of providing its citizens with all essential social services and conditions for normal life. The unemployment rate is estimated at 80%.  Conditions in the neighbouring republics are not as stark, but they are clearly still adversely affected by the instability in Chechnya.  A large number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) remain outside Chechnya, especially in Ingushetia, although the vast majority of former IDPs have returned to Chechnya, if not to their homes.  Some of those remaining in Ingushetia express a desire to integrate locally. 

The level of need for humanitarian assistance and protection is unchanged since the release of the 2005 Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Chechnya (North Caucasus–Russian Federation). Recovery is a slow process, and the humanitarian partners in the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) remain committed to meeting assistance and protection needs in the medium-term.  It is possible that some increase in the CAP budget will be needed in the second half of 2005, should humanitarian agencies gain greater access to vulnerable people who were previously unreachable in Chechnya. 

The hardship experienced by the 850,000 people in Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan estimated to be directly affected by the conflict is compounded by the difficult socio-economic and security conditions across the region.  While Ingushetia has experienced a decrease in the number of IDPs, humanitarian aid remains vital for those IDPs remaining and the communities that host them.  This is compounded by unemployment of over 50% and other socio-economic problems.  In Dagestan, there are similar socio-economic factors and the security situation by some accounts may be deteriorating. Overall, humanitarian relief, protection, and recovery projects in the 2005 Appeal target well over one million citizens in four republics. 

Violence and insecurity not only cause humanitarian needs, but also create the greatest obstacle to humanitarian action, particularly in Chechnya. Access under current conditions is difficult and expensive for humanitarian agencies, especially the United Nations. Nonetheless, working together, agencies are able to provide good coverage on the ground. The work done by Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are essential in this regard, and any CAP success is dependent upon these partnerships. 

The humanitarian programme proposed in the 2005 Consolidated Appeal (CA) document has received fairly strongsupport from donors.  As of 10 June, participating agencies and donors report 50% funding for the 2005 Appeal, even considering the US$ 8.45 million budget increase from project revisions in this Mid-Year Review (MYR).  While this is a positive signal of support, agencies are still in need of US$ 33.7 million to fully realise the 2005 humanitarian programme.  Preliminarily, the same level of humanitarian assistance is foreseen in 2006. 

This MYR is unique in that it does not foreshadow a 2006 Consolidated Appeal.  At the request of the Government of the Russian Federation, humanitarian partners supporting the CAP will continue with assistance and protection under a broader framework of ‘transition programming’. A Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP) analysing the humanitarian situation, setting shared programme goals, and indicating the priorities for action will be prepared in close coordination with the Government and development partners. To the extent possible, humanitarian and development agencies will build a common programme with the ultimate goal of supporting the full recovery and future prosperity of conflict-affected communities of the North Caucasus.  It is much too early to speak of the phasing out of humanitarian aid in the North Caucasus, but the importance of capacity-building and recovery projects within the CAP, and of development activity outside of it, has been greatly emphasised in the 2005 CAP dialogue.

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29 June 2005

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