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IDPs Close to Hunger

04.02.2009
Gela Mtivlishvili, Kakheti

The IDPs from Prone and Didi Liakhvi Gorges that have been living in Kakheti region since the August war face grave social problems. The IDPs from the conflict zone have neither enough food nor access to medical care.
According to official data, 266 IDPs live in Kakheti region: 86 families live in Telavi, Sagarejo and Lagodekhi in IDP centers and approximately 70 people are sheltered in the houses of their own relatives.

The IDP families are sheltered in state owned buildings in all three municipalities. The buildings had been repaired before the IDPs started living there. The funds for the repair were allocated from national budget. The IDPs have furniture, heating and kitchen equipment. However, the IDPs claim that they lack the most important: enough amount of food and medical care. They have no access to medical care because they simply cannot afford it.

“The only food we receive is pasta and beans. The portions are very small and not enough even if we eat only twice a day. Children are in much graver situation because they cannot eat beans and pasta any more. Therefore, they are hungry. We cannot even exchange these products because they are not of good quality and no one wants to buy them. We would gladly work even for a small amount of money but there is no job at present. We have health problems because we are half hungry but we cannot go to a doctor because we do not have money. We brought a girl into a maternity home several days ago but when the doctors found out that we were IDPs they refused to help us. They said that their hospital was not free and they could not provide medical care free of charge,” say the IDPs.

Giorgi Sibashvili, Deputy Kakheti Regional Governor admitted that IDPs do not live well. He said that it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation to provide food for IDPs. “It is not the local government’s responsibility to solve the problems of IDPs.   However, district administrations help them as much as they can. For instance, IDPs received food at the verge of New Year. We also supply the IDPs that live in IDP centers with bread in every two days. I know that no one refuses IDPs in medical care in medical institutions,” said Deputy Governor Sibashvili.

The Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation informs that the IDPs are provided with food by World Food Program. Daily portion for each person is: 150 grams of pasta, 50 grams of bean, 20 grams of sugar, 5 grams of salt, 30 grams of oil and 350 grams of bread. Valeri Kopaleishvili, the adviser of the Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation informs that IDPs receive food in every 30 days.

The IDPs claim that if their social conditions are not improved they will start protests in Kakheti region. We received the information Petre Kiknadze, Deputy Kakheti Regional Governor threatened the IDPs that live in Telavi town in IDP centers that if they do not stop speaking about their problems out loud the assistance they receive will be cut off to them. Deputy Governor Kiknadze denies this allegation: “Trust me I have never said anything like that. Maybe I should pay more attention to them but I have never threatened them,” said Kiknadze.

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