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Families Continue to Arrive

September 11, 2008

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New streams of displaced families are coming from Tblisi, the capital city, every day. Tbilisi's schools are being emptied of families in order to prepare for the upcoming school year. It's a difficult situation that's causing much confusion for everyone.

In fact, since the numbers of displaced people are increasing by the minute, no effective tracking can be done. The numbers are constantly changing at the tent camps and collective centers. As of today, about 9,000 IDPs have been registered, but that number is most likely underestimated.

The Mercy Corps emergency response team divided into two groups today, which sped up the process of delivering humanitarian aid to IDPs in and around Gori. One group continues to deliver beds, blankets and other bedding, while the other group has started to distribute more hygiene kits. These hygiene kits were distributed to 18 kindergartens where displaced families are taking shelter.

There is an extremely poor situation in the bathrooms and hygiene facilities of public buildings where displaced families are staying. There are no specially designated cleaning crews, and the bathrooms are becoming worse by the day.

It is interesting to note that displaced families here are somewhat differentiated by their predicaments: people from the Didi Liakhvi and Patara Liakhvi river valleys, whose villages simply do not exist any more, are adapting more easily to the situation than those residents of Gori whose conflict-ruined apartments are being repaired now.