The EU Integration Committee held the meeting on “Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy in Georgia”
EU Integration Committee organized the EU and UNDP supported working meeting in Borjomi on Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy in Georgia.
The meeting is participated by the Committee Members and Committee Staff, as well as the representatives of the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, the Legal Issues, the Health Care and Social Issues, the Human Rights and Civil Integration and the Foreign Relations Committees, as well as the experts, Ivane Chkhikvadze and Adam Lazovski.
The participants are to consider Georgia-EU cooperation framework and strategic directions, as well as the role of the Parliament in EUAA implementation. The participants will hear about the experience of EU member and candidate states, the findings by the experts and the recommendations. As well as, the participants will develop the joint action plan.
UNDP and the Government of Turkmenistan expand cooperation to create sustainable health systems
27 February the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan signed new projects on health to improve access to treatment of the noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and enhance national capacity for clinical laboratory diagnostics.
“We are happy to note the increased collaboration between UNDP and the Government of Turkmenistan on strengthening health system of the country, which demonstrates a growing trust in UNDP as a strategic partner to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, by ensuring no one is left behind,”- said Ms. Narine Sahakyan, UNDP Resident Representative in Turkmenistan.
More specifically, UNDP launched the following new joint projects to support the national efforts to strengthen the country’s health system:
The project “Provision of medicines necessary for prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases and for maternal and child health in Turkmenistan in 2023-2024”, which is aimed at strengthening the national health systems capacities to control the noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), rare diseases, and improve maternal and newborn health in Turkmenistan. . The project will ensure access to free, good quality, available, affordable medicines across the country through the provision of medicines for treatment of NCDs and other diseases. This project will continue providing quality and affordable medicines initiated by the first NCD project between UNDP and MoHMI for 2020-2021. Notably, the project includes: i) the provision of medicines for rare and orphan diseases which are very costly, making the patients with the rare and orphan diseases most vulnerable to financial hardships; ii) provision of essential medicines for NCD patients, including the most vulnerable people; iii) contribute to women’s health by providing medicines for pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal period;
The project “Strengthening clinical laboratory services in Turkmenistan in 2023-2024” will focus on strengthening the national health system’s capacity for clinical laboratory diagnostics of diseases. The project will support health services to ensure availability, accessibility, reliability, and most-up-to-date laboratory investigations for accurate and timely diagnosis of the most common diseases, such as common infectious, non-infectious diseases, surgery, emergency cases, maternal and child health, and other. Important to note that the project will support laboratories of primary health care which serve most of the population. The availability of lab services at the PHC level in close proximity to the place of residence, reduces gender-related barriers and ensures equal access to a full range of lab investigations for women and girls, including lab investigations during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal period. The project will particularly help vulnerable people with access to lab services by reducing the cost of the services and the cost of transportation if such services are not available at PHC.
It is expected that both projects, fully funded by the Government of Turkmenistan with a total budget of around 78 million US dollars, will help Turkmenistan to contribute significantly to the achievement of the universal health coverage (UHC) and the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Ensuring Universal Health Coverage in the country and enhancing the resilience of the national health system to pandemics and acute diseases is one of the main areas of our cooperation with indeed impressive results. The volume of our past and ongoing cooperation only on health totals approximately $150 million, with the vast contribution coming from the government of Turkmenistan,” – said Ms. Sahakyan. “The remarkable achievements and outstanding collaboration between UNDP and Turkmenistan on public health have been reflected in the letters of recognition and appreciation from the UNDP Administrator and the Global Fund Executive Director addressed to His Excellency President of Turkmenistan, demonstrating readiness of UNDP and our partners to further improve national health system, leaving no one behind”.
UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and exclusion, and build resilience so countries can sustain progress. As the UN’s development agency, UNDP plays a critical role in helping countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
EU and UNDP select six local projects improving governance, policies, and services in Georgia’s regions
The European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG), have chosen six municipalities across Georgia to implement local projects focused on urban renewal, maintenance and development of public spaces, protection of historical and cultural heritage, preschool education, and quality public services.
The jury selected the six best local projects out of 52 ideas submitted by 22 municipalities. Each winner will receive funding between €4,500 and € 6,000. The total value of the grant programme is €30,800.
In Tskaltubo Municipality (Imereti region), a modern recreational venue at Niko Lortkipanidze Museum in Chune village, with free WIFI access, will be organised.
In Zestaponi Municipality (Imereti region), four kindergartens will be equipped with a play-and-learn inventory to assist children in learning and physical activities.
In Lagodekhi Municipality (Kakheti region), a multifunctional space will be created and equipped at the library of the newly renovated Lagodekhi Museum, serving as a venue for educational activities, film screening and youth meetings.
In Telavi Municipality (Kakheti region), 96 staff in 32 kindergartens will be trained and certified in first aid services. Two kindergartens will receive additional support to equip doctors’ offices at their premises.
In Oni Municipality (Racha-Lechkhumi-Kvemo Svaneti region), an open air cinema at one of Oni’s newly renovated plazas will provide young people with a comfortable space for film screenings, educational work and discussion club activities.
In Tsageri Municipality (Racha-Lechkhumi-Kvemo Svaneti region), the e-document project will support the digital transformation of the municipal preschool education system. Electronic tools will be introduced for registering children with kindergartens and training teachers.
The initiative is supported by the EU-funded programme EU for Integrated Territorial Development (EU4ITD), promoting balanced territorial development and improved living standards in Georgia’s regions.
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EU supports new services for municipal data collection
With the support of the EU and Denmark, and in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the National Statistics Office of Georgia (GEOSTAT) has developed a specialised webpage regions.geostat.ge integrated into its public website, offering information on 64 Georgian municipalities.
The platform tracks economic, demographic and social dynamics across 82 indicators, with 52 indicators provided by Georgia’s public agencies, and the rest by GEOSTAT through statistical surveys.
The project was developed with the aim of improving municipal data collection, systematising already available statistical information, defining and collecting new statistical indicators, and making sub-national statistics easily accessible to the public.
“The EU cares deeply about further developing the regions of Georgia to make sure that the whole population has access to opportunities and services. The foundation of this is clear and reliable data,” said Colombe de Mercey from the EU Delegation to Georgia. “The new GEOSTAT platform will help policy-makers and local authorities to make well-informed decisions for the people living in their regions.”
UNDP’s assistance to Georgia’s National Statistics Office, GEOSTAT, is supported by the EU-funded programme EU for Integrated Territorial Development (EU4ITD) promoting balanced territorial development and improved living standards in Georgia’s regions,
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Personal data protection of LGBTQI+ communities in Georgia
The research examines widespread practices related to the personal data protection of LGBTQI+ people and provides recommendations for public agencies and the civil and private sectors to raise existing standards and fill in the gaps.
Commissioned by the European Union and UNDP, the research was carried out by the non-governmental organization “Rule of Law Centre” with contributions from civil society organizations “Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group” (WISG), “Equality Movement” and “Identoba Youth”.
- The healthcare sector often collects the personal data of LGBTQI+ community members in an insulting manner and without a legal basis. Excessive data collection and intentional or accidental disclosure of confidential information are common practices. Most healthcare institutions lack the organizational and technical capacities needed to gather, process and protect personal data.
- Similar problems are registered with the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The personal data of LGBTQI+ community members are being collected in a humiliating manner and without legal grounds. There are cases when criminal case information provided by an LGBTQI+ person is disclosed to an unauthorized third party or when data protection measures are not in place. For example, a crime witness and a victim can be interviewed at the same time in a shared space while interview protocols can be accessible to unauthorized third parties.
- Lawyers often disclose confidential personal data in their media interviews or on social media. This includes information on the sexual orientation and gender identity of court case participants.
- Psychologists and therapists disclose the confidential personal data of their patients without their consent.
- Georgian legislation does not consider personal data protection as a ground for closing a court hearing for the public. Judges usually do not grant relevant requests submitted by LGBTQI+ community members involved in civil or administrative cases.
- Public Service Hall employees sometimes use personal data for unofficial purposes or disclose it to third parties. The open-plan arrangement of Public Service Halls increases the risk of accidental data disclosure.
- Journalists often disclose information about the sexual orientation and gender identity of their respondents, violating the standards of journalistic ethics and personal data protection.
- Discrimination in the workplace is another challenge faced by the LGBTQI+ community. Sexual orientation and gender identity increase the risk of losing a job and can lead to humiliating treatment and personal data disclosure.
- The Personal Data Protection Authority does not segregate its statistical data by the cases related to the personal data protection of LGBTQI+ people. This makes it hard to analyse its actions and decisions.
- LGBTQI+ people are reluctant to respond to their personal data violation cases. Partly because they often lack information on data privacy and personal data protection, and partly because they feel vulnerable and uncomfortable contacting law enforcement authorities.
- Civil society organizations working to protect the rights of LGBTQI+ communities need support to increase their expertise and capacities in personal data protection.
EU-supported initiative provides first aid training for 32 kindergarten staff in Telavi
The European Union in Georgia, Denmark, UNDP in Georgia and the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG) have helped kindergartens in Telavi municipality of Georgia to organise a first aid training course for their staff.
The initiative covered 32 pre-schools. Two kindergartens received additional support to equip doctors’ offices in their premises.
The importance of these courses is due to the fact that Georgian legislation obliges kindergartens to certify their first aid personnel in order to be allowed to protect children’s health and prevent accidents.
This initiative was selected as part of a grant competition funded by the EU and Denmark to improve management, policies and services in municipalities in Georgia.
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