The number of displaced people in Gori's tent camp has swelled to more than 1,700 people. Thankfully, the flow of humanitarian supplies and other assistance is keeping pace with new arrivals.
Today Mercy Corps, alongside two of our colleague non-governmental organizations here, delivered hygiene items and sleeping bags to camp residents. We heard many stories as we distributed supplies to displaced people.
Nodar Muradashvili is from the village of Garejvari in Gori district. His house was robbed and attacked by Ossetians during the height of the conflict. The windows of the house were broken and two heads of cattle were stolen. These cattle were the only source of income for the family.
Muradashvili and his wife have lived here in the tent camp for two weeks in a so-called two-room tent. Earlier in the day, another displaced family moved into the tent with them.
Gulnazi Giunashvili is from the village of Karaleti, where Russian troops have set up one of their checkpoints. She feels unsafe to return home right now, despite the opening of the village to residents. Giunashvili and her child are waiting here in the camp for the withdrawal of Russian troops. Just like thousands of camp residents who were — and are — her neighbors, she is unsure when she'll return home.
Meanwhile, everyone here wants to get back to work. During the day, residents go out to search for jobs at construction sites. They seek employment with cleaning services. But there aren't enough jobs to go around.
And so they wait.