Humanitarian Health Action

Georgia Health Cluster Bulletin No. 3


  • No communicable disease outbreaks reported
  • Measles and Rubella (MR) immunization campaign is ongoing.
  • First Health Cluster coordination meetings were held in the field: in Imereti and Samegrelo Regions.
  • Relocation efforts of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are continuing
  • The Joint Needs Assessment (JNA) was presented at a donor conference in Brussels on October 22nd

General situation update

  • The Government finalized the list of buildings in Tbilisi to be used as Collective Centres for those IDPs who will not return to their homes in the near future. Tbilisi has 137 such centres, housing a total of 12 417 IDPs (See the table below for details of IDP figures throughout Georgia).

Region Total IDPs (As of October 31, 2008)
Tbilisi 12,417
Adjara 69
Guria 5,600
Imereti 1,895
Kvemo Kartli 2,021
Mtskheta-Mtianeti 1,046
Racha-Lechkhumi 187
  • In the report of his second mission to Georgia published on 21 October, Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, stated that there had been progress in ensuring care and support to those displaced by the recent conflict, including some 20 000 people who are not likely to be able to return home soon. However, he added that the strides taken towards improving the plight of the IDPs could not substitute their right to return. The Commissioner reported that the principle of the right to return had been endorsed by all parties, and noted that the de facto South Ossetian authorities had indicated that they would support and respect this principle, including for ethnic Georgians who fled during the hostilities. The Commissioner noted that similar efforts were needed to address the needs and rights of more than 220 000 IDPs from previous conflicts.
  • According to the Government plan, people falling under the Target Social Assistance program, will receive health insurance vouchers according to the following schedule: Distribution of vouchers: October 1 – December 1, 2008; and signing insurance agreements with providers: December 2-16, 2008.

Health cluster coordination

  • As of November 3, no outbreaks of communicable diseases among IDPs in the affected areas have been reported;
  • Measles and Rubella (MR) supplementation immunization campaign is ongoing. According to the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs (MoLHSA), in the first week of the immunization campaign 300 000 people from 6 to 27 years old have been vaccinated throughout Georgia. Special emphasis was given to IDP Centres where social mobilization started intensively in advance by Georgian Red Cross and other partners, supported by UNICEF, WHO and MoLHSA.

Joint Needs Asseddment (JNA) was presented at the donor conference on Georgia in Brussels 22nd October

  • The Joint Needs Assessment (JNA) final document was prepared as a collaborative effort by the Georgian Government, the UN, the EU and the WB, based on the Post Conflict Needs Assessment (PCNA) methodology. It is a comprehensive compilation of rehabilitation and recovery needs in Georgia and outlines a sequenced implementation plan for agreed interventions over a three-year period.
  • On 22 October 2008, 38 countries and 15 international organizations met in Brussels during a joint European Commission and World Bank Conference in order to decide how to further support the rehabilitation process of post-conflict Georgia. As the result of this conference, pledges were made for about 4.5 billion USD, considerably exceeding the 3.25 billion USD requested in the JNA.

    The participating donor countries prioritized four main areas of financial support:

    • To cover urgent social needs related to internally displaced people (IDPs) and damaged infrastructure, with a total pledge of 450 million USD;
    • To cover budgetary shortfalls resulting from the fall in foreign investments as well as the slowdown in economic activities to keep basic governmental services maintained. Donors pledged 586 million USD for these services.
    • To help recover the slowed-down economy and to enable commercial banks in particular provide loans, equities and guarantees, donors pledged 850 million USD.
    • To cover core investments, particularly in transportation, energy and municipal infrastructure, a pledge was made for about 2.65 billion USD.
  • These pledges were made in addition to ongoing programs and previous donations by different governments or organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Georgian Government welcomed these pledges and thanked the donors for their active assistance in a speedy recovery of the country.

    Health sector needs fall mainly under the first priority: the coverage of urgent social needs for IDPs and damaged infrastructure, but could also be partly covered by the fourth priority for investments in municipal infrastructure. In the JNA, the health sector was asking for 174.2 million USD for the period of 2008-2010.

Partner updates

  • In support of the Bank of Georgia initiative, 20-day rehabilitation program for pregnant IDP women, UNFPA has taken responsibility to contribute by providing reproductive health (RH) services to these pregnant women. To date, 33 pregnant women, accompanied by their 30 children were accommodated in Tskneti Centre for recreation and relevant training purposes. All of these women are due by the end of the year, which implies that they are in need of continuous and quality RH services and relevant care.
  • On October 29, 2008 UNFPA team with Tbilisi reproductive health Mobile Team visited the Tskneti centre and assisted pregnant IDPs with RH examination and counselling. UNFPA team distributed family kits (consisting personal hygiene care items) as well as IEC materials on pregnancy, delivery, infant care and RH issues, including brochure “New Life is Born.”
  • WHO visited West Part of Georgia – Imereti and Samegrelo regions to streamline HC coordination in the field, to meet with the partners and to discuss burning issues and program activities. More than 26 000 IDPs (about 1895 from the recent crisis) are registered in the Imereti region coming mostly from Kodori valley and Abkhazia. Small outbreaks of scabies, watery diarrhea (6 cases), pediculoses were reported in IDP collective centres. About 50 000 IDPs hosted by Zugdidi and villages around, out of them 36 000 staying in 51 collective centres in Zugdidi region. There are no representatives of MoLHSA and regional health department present in the region, except representatives of the MoLHSA from Abkhazia. Regional health department is doing mainly disease surveillance.
  • Tkviavi ambulance team returned to the “Adjacent Area” to provide emergency medical assistance to returnees and local population. On average, they conduct 15 call services in 24 hours. The medical staff of Tkviavi ambulance also service provided health interventions to Gori Tent Village.
  • Partners of the Health Cluster include: ACTS, ADRA, CARITAS, CIF, CLARITAS XXI, Counterpart, GRCS, Hellenicare, IMSS, IRD, IWA, Merlin, MdM, MSCI, MSF, OXFAM, SCF, UMCOR, WF, WVI, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNWHO, EC, EC/ECHO, USAID, WB
    Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs (MoLHSA)
Nutrition subsector:
  • UNICEF’s partner NGO Claritas XXI submitted project proposal for 6-month expansion of the project “Ensuring timely and continued infant feeding & micronutrient/vitamin supplementation for IDP children, pregnant and lactating women in Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, Gori and Telavi.” Project strives to ensure safe and adequate Infant/child feeding and micronutrient/vitamin supplementation for IDPs and returnees, children under 2 years old, and pregnant and lactating women in Tbilisi, Adjara, Imereti, Gori/Shida Kartli, Kakheti, Guria and Samegrelo for the next 6 months, with a special focus on the Buffer Zone.
  • Partners of the Nutrition subsector include: CLARITAS XXI, SCF, UMCOR, UNICEF, UNWFP, UNWHO
    Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs (MoLHSA), Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation (MRA)
Mental Health and Psychosocial support (MHPSS) subsector:
  • On 28 October 2008 a coordination meeting on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support was held at the UN House. One of the issues raised by the partners was elaboration of assessment tool for mental health and psychosocial support activities. In line with this, working group was created, comprising CoG, GAMH, GCRT, WHO and WV, to draft assessment tool which will be shared with partners for feedback.
  • According to WHO field trip findings, there is a need of child-focused psychologists in Zugdidi and Senaki to conduct psychosocial rehabilitation of the children, especially in Senaki mentally disabled children’s home, which underwent severe bombing.
  • Post-Emergency Responses in crisis situation: An Integrative Approach to Psychotrauma – was a conference organized with financial support of European Commission Delegation to Georgia, GIP –Tbilisi fund, GCRT and Civil Society and Public Policy Reform Project (CSPPRP), held in Tbilisi on October 17–18. Attended by over 100 participants, the conference made the following conclusive recommendations:
    • Local, Georgian expertise should be applied in order to set up sustainable psychosocial assistance service for traumatized communities;
    • Assistance should be rendered to as many people as possible, therefore it was deemed reasonable to provide indirect assistance such as consultations, informing, training of the primary level medical personnel, advising decision makers; self-help groups, community mobilization, etc.;
    • Attempts to pathologize and “medicalize” the situation should be avoided; the survivors needs should be assessed carefully and addressed accordingly;
    • Long-term monitoring systems and screening for persistent mental health problems should be arranged.
    • Effective, evidence-based methods of psychosocial assistance, treatment and rehabilitation should be introduced.
    • Specialized services for severely affected, such as outreach mobile crisis teams and trauma clinics, should be set up.
    • Emergency staff care and supervision should be introduced.
  • Partners of the MHPSS subsector include: CRS, COG, GAMH, GAPCP, GASW, GIP, GPS, GCRT, GRCS, Hellenicare, IOCC, IOM, INCD, IPS, IRD, Merlin, MDM, MSF, NDOBA, PIN, SCF, WVI, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNWHO
    Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs (MoLHSA), Committee of Health Care and Social Issues (CHCSI), Parliament of Georgia, Ministry of Education and Science (MoES)

Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs (MoLHSA) in Georgia
Ms Nino Mirzikashvili, Head of the International Relation Department
Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia
Tel: +995 77 222 887

WHO Georgia Country Office in Georgia Dr Rusudan Klimiashvili
Head of WHO Country Office
Tel: +995 32 998073

Dr David Katcharava
Public Health Assessment, Coordination Officer
E-mail: Mobile: +995 91 607208

Ute Enderlein
Health Cluster Coordinator

Ms Maya Mateshvili
Information/Communication Officer
E-mail :

Ms Liuba Negru
Press and Media Relations Officer
Tel: +45 39 17 13 44
Mobile: +45 20 459274

WHO Headquarters
Dr Alessandro Loretti
Director a.i. Emergency Response and Operations (ERO) HAC

Mr Paul Garwood, Communications Officer
Health Action in Crises Cluster

ANNEX – Health Cluster partners

Acronyms Organization
ADRA Adventist Development and Relief Agency
CIF Curatio International Foundation
CLARITAS XXI, Georgia CLARITAS (Mother-Child Nutrition and Wellness Association)
CHCSI Committee of Health Care and Social Issues, Parliament of Georgia
CoG Children of Georgia
Counterpart Counterpart
CRS Catholic Relief Services
EC Delegation of the European Commission to Georgia
EC/ECHO European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Office
GAMH Georgia Association of Mental Health
GAPCP Georgia Association for Psychotherapy and Clinical Psychologists
GASW Georgia Association of Social Workers
GCRT Georgian Center for psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Tortured Victims
GIP Global Initiative of Psychiatry
GPS Georgian Society of Psychotrauma
GRCS Georgia Red Cross Society
Hellenicare Hellenicare
IMC International Medical Corps
IMSS International Medical Support Services, Georgia
INCD International Network for Civil Development
IOCC International Orthodox Christian Charities
IOM International Organization for Migration
IPS Institute of Policy Studies
IRC International Rescue Committee
IRD International Relief and Development
IWA International Women’s Association
MdM Medicine du Monde
MERLIN Medical Emergency Relief International
MoES Ministry of Education and Science
MoLHSA Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs
MRA Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation
MSCI Medicine Service Corporation International
MSF Medicine Sans Frontiers
NCDCPH National Center for Disease Control and Public Health
NDOBA Georgian Association of Psychosocial Aid
PIN People in Need
Ombudsman Public Defender’s Office
SCF Save the Children Fund
UMCOR United Methodist Committee on Relief
WB World Bank
WF Welfare Foundation
WVI World Vision International
UNFPA United Nations Population Fund
UNHCR United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund
UNWFP United Nations World Food Programme
UNWHO United Nations World Health Organization
USAID United States Agency for International Development