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"Action by Churches Together" mission:  North Caucasus (summer 2007)

Aid to IDPs in the North Caucasus

The Russian Orthodox Church continues its many years' efforts to help the internally displaces people (IDPs) in the North Caucasus.

In June 2007 the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate together with the Stavropol and Vladikavkaz diocese carried out another action aimed at long-term rehabilitation of IDPs on the territory of the Satavropol kray. Necessary equipment, tools and instruments, and retail stock of materials were provided for the joiner's, metalworker's and sewing shops located in the Piatigorsk municipal centre of social service. Goods manufactured in these shops will be offered at a preferentially low price to people included in the municipal lists of those who need social support, primarily needy IDPs from the Chechen Republic.

The previous years saw several such shops organized in a number of cities of the Stavropol kray and other administrative regions of the Russian Federation within the framework of several DECR programmes of emergency and rehabilitation aid in emergency situations. The shops turned to be an effective means of long-term assistance to people in need and a way to build up the potential of the local social support institutions.

This work is a continuation of the Russian Orthodox Church's efforts to assist to socially vulnerable categories of our compatriots who fell victims of emergency situations in different regions of the country. Church work in the North Caucasus is of special intensity. The Russian Orthodox Church has carried out a number of humanitarian aid programmes aimed at IDPs since 1995, and also at those who were affected by the catastrophic floods in 2002 in the south of Russia, as well as at the victims of the act of terror in Beslan.

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