In Georgia, population movements make it difficult to number displaced, UN says

In Georgia, population movements make it difficult to number displaced, UN says

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has noted a substantial movement of populations between South Ossetia in Georgia and Russia’s North Ossetia region, making it difficult to establish the exact number of people displaced by recent hostilities.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has noted a substantial movement of populations between South Ossetia in Georgia and Russia’s North Ossetia region, making it difficult to establish the exact number of people displaced by recent hostilities.

Heavy fighting broke out in South Ossetia between Georgian and South Ossetian forces more than a week ago. Russian forces became involved there and in the separate region of Abkhazia in north-western Georgia.

The Russian Ministry for Emergencies (EMERCOM), which has been coordinating Russia’s aid efforts for the displaced from South Ossetia, including the provision of food aid, has said it would welcome a contribution of food assistance from WFP.

The food will be distributed in coordination with the Ministry and local authorities to the displaced population in North Ossetia, where some 30,000 South Ossetians have been taking refuge.

Meanwhile, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) António Guterres – who is on a four-day mission to Georgia and Russia to review his agency’s humanitarian operation – is expected to be in North Ossetia today, following meetings with Georgian officials in the capital, Tbilisi.

The UN refugee agency estimates that nearly 160,000 people have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the recent fighting.