Caritas launches Georgia appeal
22 August 2008
Caritas has launched an appeal for funds for Georgia to support its emergency response programme that has been underway since the conflict began.
Estimates now say that 150,000 people fled their homes; 128,000 of them are scattered throughout Georgia proper.
The appeal for US $257,712.42 will provide the basic emergency needs of people forced from their homes and in shelters in Tbilisi and Kutaisi for one month.
Caritas Georgia Programme Manager Liana Mkheidze said; “Most of the people we are helping have had to leave their homes with nothing. Caritas was able to get food to them and meet some of their other basic needs.
“The destruction and looting of their houses means many will not be able to return home soon even if the political and security situation allows it.
“Once the initial phase of the emergency is over, we will be looking at the long-term rehabilitation and what we can do to rebuild peace in shattered communities.”
On 7 August 2008, Georgia launched a military offensive in break-away South Ossetia. Russia responded with a large-scale military counter-offensive.
Around 150.000 people in the region have been driven from their homes by the conflict.
The funds given to Caritas will provide over a thousand people with food, at least 1100 people with counselling, and 6,500 people with basic primary health care services.
Caritas Georgia already started distribution of some food items to some of these people on August 10, 2008. On August 13, Caritas started delivering food supplies to four shelter sites in Tbilisi on a more regular basis.
Caritas distribution of items such as hygiene kits, soap, blankets and bedding and medical supplies is also now ongoing.
Tskhinvali, capital of South Ossetia has suffered massive destructions, almost all public infrastructure facilities have been destroyed, water and electricity supply is disrupted. The majority of houses have been severely damaged.
Caritas will be following up this appeal with a further one looking at rehabilitation in the coming weeks.
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