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World Vision aid in 'heartbreaking' Georgia

World Vision aid in 'heartbreaking' Georgia

As thousands displaced by the fighting in South Ossetia and areas of Georgia flood into the Georgian capital or Tbilisi, World Vision is working with the UN to provide relief.

Both food and non-food items are being distributed to the internally displaced persons (IDPs), as well as medical supplies to one of Tbilisi's main hospitals.

World Vision has helped more than 700 people since Saturday and is continuing to do so today.

"We have a short-term plan to cover those IDPs we know of in terms of continued food assistance. We will also continue with non-food items delivery to other locations," said David Womble, National Director of World Vision Georgia.

"We will mobilise supplies from outside the country as well, but of course all of this depends on a cessation of attacks on Georgia. We need all parties to observe an immediate ceasefire," he added.

The number of IDPs in Georgia proper and South Ossetia is estimated to be between 10,000 and 20,000, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

More than 20 collection centres have been set up to receive people fleeing the violence. Half of them are in the city itself, and the rest in nearby towns and villages. World Vision is working with World Food Programme to meet the needs of IDPs in 11 of the centres.

The extent of suffering has been described by World Vision staff as "heartbreaking and profoundly disturbing."

Many of the IDPs are arriving in Tbilisi however they can – by foot or by car – and with nothing but what they are wearing.

"I don't need anything, but peace," said an 11-year-old boy from Ergneti village in the Gori region.


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