Two wars have torn through Chechnya since the 1990s, destroying its economy and infrastructure – leaving a population impoverished and thousands of people homeless and internally displaced. As well as the broken infrastructure, unemployment is extremely high, with some estimates placing it as high as 85%. Over a decade after the war, many families still do not a have permanent home as they are unable to afford to rebuild the houses that were destroyed during the war.
As well as the broken infrastructure, unemployment is extremely high, with some estimates placing it as high as 85%. Over a decade after the war, many families still do not a have permanent home as they are unable to afford to rebuild the houses that were destroyed during the war. Winters are harsh and freezing and, to make matters worse, families are in constant fear of activating one of the estimated 500,000 landmines buried throughout Chechnya.
We began work in response to the conflict in 1995, providing emergency food, clean water, shelter and medical care to refugees. We support orphans through our sponsorship programme, and work with the World Food Programme to provide hot meals for children in school, ensuring they are healthly enough to benefit from their education.
We also focus on long-term development, such as reconstruction of homes and infrastructure, and livelihoods programmes. With unemployment so high, we provide families a chance to be able to support themselves.
In Chechnya, thousands of women were left widowed by the horrific war, struggling to support their orphaned children. There is little opportunity for employment, so Islamic Relief is giving these women a chance…by giving them a cow! A family receives a pregnant calf, which provides milk and dairy products, which are not only eaten by the family, but also sold at the market to earn an income. Best of all, when the cows give birth, the new calf is given to another family in need, helping them to start earning a living too! This cycle continues, supporting multiple families to not be reliant upon charity.