EU and FAO mark support to over 800 most vulnerable IDP families in Georgia
Today representatives of the EU, FAO and Georgian Government marked the end of a 2 year project which assisted over 800 of the most vulnerable IDP families in Georgia.
The two year Equal Access of IDPs to Economic Opportunities project was funded by the EU and implemented by FAO in cooperation with UN Women, and focused on developing livelihoods of the most vulnerable groups of IDPs, namely single parents with minors, households with members with disabilities, and households led by youths and the elderly. The project provided training and over GEL 4 million to help these families undertake investments in mechanization, orchards, vineyards, honey and dairy productions. In total, 830 IDP households across Georgia benefitted from the project.
The programme also funded 48 kindergartens across the country, giving up to 10,000 GEL to each institution to create playgrounds, buy bedroom furniture for babies, equip kitchens and heat the buildings. More than 2,700 children benefited.
The event was attended by Sozar Subari, the Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia, and Janos Herman, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia.
Mr Herman noted that: "The EU has been supporting IDPs in Georgia for many years now. We are proud of the most recent project, which has provided funding and training to over 800 of the most vulnerable IDP families in Georgia to develop better livelihoods. This is a true expression of the EU's commitment to help improve the lives of all Georgians, especially those most in need."
The project was the third phase of an EU/FAO initiative that started in 2009. The first two phases focused on food security and providing investment opportunities to IDPs. Each phases supported over 2000 IDP households in Georgia with a total budget of over GEL 16 million (EUR 5.4 million).
IDP beneficiaries of the project from the various regions of Georgia also attend the event, bringing their agricultural products for the exhibition which was organized as the side activity of the event. Koba Ugrekhelidze, IDP with disability from Khoni, Imereti was one of the participants. He was supported with co-investment of 2 450 GEL for enlargement of his apiary. With the obtained grant he procured additional 30 bee families, 150 frames, 150 honeycombs and beekeeping equipment.
"In August 2017, I harvested and sold 200kg of honey, improving my annual income by 30%. I plan to reinvest the profits and increase the number of beehives even more. I’m grateful for the great opportunity to expand my business", Mr Ugrekhelidze said.
The guests also enjoyed a photo exhibition of the portraits of the IDP beneficiaries.