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The Northern Caucasus is a region on the southern border of the Russian Federation, which includes the republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan. The region was torn apart by the first and second Chechen wars between 1994 and 2001. An estimated 300,000 people in Chechnya were forced to flee their homes. Today, the region is still coping with the consequences of those conflicts. Both the local and the refugee population remain poor and marginalised, suffering from underdeveloped infrastructure, high unemployment, weak and unresponsive government, corruption and violence.
The International Rescue Committee began working in the Northern Caucasus during the first Chechen war and responded again following the start of the second Chechen war.