EU grants 11 million euros for Chechen refugees

The European Commission on Monday approved the grant of 11 million euros (17.3 million dollars) in aid to victims of the war in Chechnya.

EU grants 11 million euros for Chechen refugees
"Chechnya finally seems to be recovering after a long period of devastation, darkness and despair. The commission wants to show its solidarity with those people who are still in need of humanitarian assistance," EU Aid Commissioner Louis Michel said.

The aid money will chiefly be used to provide shelter, protection and support to refugees and health treatment to mothers and children, a statement from the EU's executive body said.

Chechnya, which lies in the North Caucasus on the strategically-vital land bridge between the Black and Caspian seas, fought two wars of independence against the Russian Federation between 1994 and 2000.

The Russian campaign of 1999-2000, which brought Chechnya back into the federation, provoked massive criticism around the world and forced thousands of Chechens to flee the country.

According to commission sources, some 22,100 Chechens are still living "under dire conditions" as refugees in the neighbouring Russian republics of Ingushetia and Dagestan and the independent states of Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Moreover, many of those Chechens returned to their countries in recent years have found their homes destroyed.

"The living conditions of the population in Chechnya remain extremely difficult," the commission press release said.

Since 1999, the commission has sent over 220 million euros in aid to the stricken republic.

Last Mod: 08 Nisan 2008, 13:43
Add Comment