Islamic Relief's President, Dr Hany El Banna, and Khalid Almulad, PA, travelled to the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation on an observational visit during June 2002. During the weeklong tour the delegation met with officials in Moscow, including UN WFP staff, ECHO staff and local authority officials.
Since the current conflict resumed in 1999, thousands of Chechens have been forced to seek refuge in neighbouring Ingoushetia, and border areas. Islamic Relief was one of the first British aid agencies to provide relief to the displaced Chechens, and has worked in the area since 1995.
During the tour the Islamic Relief delegation met the Prime Minister of Chechnya, the Chief of Administration for Chechnya, the President of Ingushetia, the Prime Minister of Ingushetia, the Vice President of KBR, and the UN Area Security Co-ordinator.
Dr Hany was pleased to find that Islamic Relief has built good relationships with the local authorities. "We've maintained total transparency throughout the three years of hard work in this area, and so we have built up trust amongst both the people and the authorities."