Georgia: EU, Germany launch €9.5 mln good governance project

With the financial backing of the European Union (EU) and the German Government, a project worth €9.5 million has been launched to support Georgia’s sustainable and inclusive growth, balanced territorial development, and good governance.

The German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with Georgia’s Regional Development and Infrastructure Ministry and municipal administrations, will execute Integrated Territorial Development between 2022 and 2025.

Moreover, The EU has set aside €8.5 million for the project, with €1 million coming from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. GIZ will spend €7.5 million to support the development of municipalities, businesses, local economies and citizens, while the UNDP will spend €2 million to advocate decentralisation and good governance.

The EU Ambassador to Georgia, Carl Hartzell, termed the programme “critical to urban and rural transformation” and said it will help Georgia improve local democracy through inclusive involvement.

The programme also intends to reduce inequality and achieve “social cohesion” in the country by promoting urban renewal and social inclusion. Guria, Imereti, Kakheti, Racha-Lechkhumi, and Kvemo Svaneti are the four Georgian regions included in the projects.

According to Hubert Knirsch, the Federal Republic of Germany’s Ambassador to Georgia pointed out the project would bring products from local small and medium-sized businesses to both Georgian and worldwide markets.

Through our cooperation with the EU, we can offer Georgia’s regions the assistance they need to achieve these goals, create new opportunities for local residents, improve livelihoods and eliminate rural poverty.” The UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia, Nick Beresford, stated.

Furthermore, according to Mzia Giorgobiani, Deputy Infrastructure Minister, the initiative will support economic development in the country and generate equitable opportunity for all residents by using “inclusive, smart, and sustainable socio-economic measures.”

The Integrated Territorial Development programme also helps to implement the Pilot Integrated Regional Development Grant Program, which was approved by the Georgian government in 2019 and is co-financed by the European Union’s budget support scheme.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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