EU Launches Recovery and Development Programme for Northern Caucasus

Moscow, 13 February 2007 - The European Union has launched a new programme for recovery and development for Northern Caucasus designed in close cooperation with Russian federal and regional authorities. Out of 20 mln euro allocated for the programme, 12.7 mln euro will go to health and education projects in the Republics of Chechnya and Ingushetia. UN Children''s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) have been implementing these projects since September 2006. Official presentation of the health and education component will take place in Grozny on 15 February, 2007.

The European Commission, UNICEF and WHO have actively cooperated in the humanitarian assistance area in the Republic of Chechnya for several years. The new programme marks a transition from purely humanitarian assistance to development programmes. Ministries of Health and Education of Republics of Chechnya and Ingushetia, as well as the Office of the President Plenipotentiary in the Southern Federal Okrug have taken an active part in developing the programme and are now involved in its implementation.

In the health sector, about 3000 health staff from the Ministry of Health of Chechnya, doctors and nurses will take part in vocational trainings. Five health information and learning centres for medical personnel will be established in Chechnya and will be supplied with training materials, audio-visual aids and medical literature. Under the programme, essential medical equipment, consumables and specialized ambulances will be delivered to the Republican Children''s Hospital and Maternity Hospital No 2 in Grozny. Repair and maintenance facility of the Ministry of Health of Chechnya will be equipped, and its staff will be trained.

In education sector, 2000 school teachers, context specialists, staff from the Ministry of Education of Chechnya and from the Teachers’ Re-training Institute will attend professional trainings. Sixty two classrooms for physics, chemistry, foreign languages, biology, mathematics and geography will be set up and equipped at local schools.

Another component of the 20 mln euro programme aimed to support income generation activities in the Republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia and North Ossetia is under preparation.

Presentation of the health and education projects under the new programme will take place on 15 February at 10h30 at Taganka Restaurant (Grozny). Representatives of the regional and federal authorities, as well as of the European Commission, WHO and UNICEF will take part in the event.

For more information, please, contact Bela Tsugaeva, Communication Assistant, UNICEF North Caucasus, tel. (8928) 732 07 12, e-mail: or Irina Tarakanova, Administrative Assistant, WHO North Caucasus, tel. (495) 787 21 12, e-mail:

Background information:

The European Commission through its Humanitarian Aid department has been providing humanitarian assistance in the Northern Caucasus since 1999. Since that time the total aid for the whole region has reached 200 million euro making the European Union the largest donor in the region. At present, more than 80% of the humanitarian aid goes to Chechnya covering food provision, health sector, water and sanitation, construction of shelter for internally displaced persons, as well as psychosocial projects. United Nations agencies, including UNICEF and WHO, are among the Commission''s key implementing partners in the field.