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    NEW COUNCIL TO COORDINATE WORLD AID TO CHECHNYA

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 16, RIA NOVOSTI - A council will be established, within a month, to coordinate international aid to Chechnya, Stanislav Ilyasov, federal Minister for Chechen Affairs, announced to the media after conference with Mark Mallock-Brown, UN development programme supervisor.

    To represent the International Red Cross, the United Nations, Russia's Cabinet and other federal agencies, and the Chechen government, the Council will have several ad hoc teams on the food programme, humanitarian aid, promotion of small and medium-scale business, and other practical issues, said Mr. Ilyasov.

    To coordinate Chechen relief efforts by international organisations and by federal and republican authorities will be the principal duty of the new council. The helpers must join hands so as to target aid to those who need it, stressed the minister. Meanwhile, international humanitarian organisations are working in Chechnya on their own, and the federal top does not even know the amount of donations the republic is receiving. To bring donations to the needy, the efforts must be coordinated with republican leaders, he emphatically added.

    Coordination is also necessary to guarantee international officers' safety, said Mr. Ilyasov.

    Chechen law-enforcement agencies are willing to guarantee such safety if international organisations join hands with the Chechen top. "We are making only one proviso-international officers must inform us about their itineraries. Then, we shall offer them safety," pointed out Ahmad Kadyrov, republican president.

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