Successful performance of the Georgian Government is the most effective way to counter Russian propaganda – David Zalkaliani
According to Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, Russian propaganda is the challenge facing not only Georgia but also western states and the most effective way to counteract it is by means of concrete actions and to tangible results.
“We are faced with hybrid threats everywhere. It is a serious challenge not only for Georgia but also for Europe and other countries. However, counterpropaganda should not be a way to contradict propaganda because we believe that one of the most effective ways to fight against propaganda is by achieving concrete results on the European and Euro-Atlantic path. And indeed, Georgia has achieved tangible results in this regard” – David Zalkaliani told journalists following the government session.
According to David Zalkaliani, the Government of Georgia will closely co-operate with European and American partners in order to benefit from their experience and best practices.
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.
The Regime of Tyrant Putin and his Shameful Army should Unequivocally and Unconditionally get Defeated in this War !!!
February 24, 2022 is the day which will be imprinted in the memory of the people of Ukraine and the whole civilized world as the first hours of severe war of Russia against Ukraine. Today, it has been exactly a year since Russia has started a wide-scale war in the middle of Europe against independent Ukraine, which at the moment gets continued with mass assaults of heavy artillery bombs. The day today is the most painful for every Ukrainian. This is the day which substantially changed everything and moved us to the new world of unpleasant reality.
During this one-year people of Ukraine have been exposed to a lot of suffering, sadness and anxiety. Atrocities of Russian invaders and destruction are indescribable. The destructive war started by Putin led to everyday deaths of thousands of innocent peaceful citizens, elderly and children. The Russian barbarian army has already exterminated 459 Ukrainian children and these data are not final. When on everyday basis we see terrible acts of the Russian invader, I have no doubt that Putin is a tyrant and the most dangerous terrorist in the 21st-century world. When I think about what the people of Ukraine have to stand, the feeling of pain emerges and my hatred towards the Russian invader gets even more intensive.
Tyrant Putin and his terrorist authority made millions of Ukrainians to essentially leave their homes. But, despite this hard suffering, brave Ukrainian people demonstrated to everyone that fighting for independence, freedom, values, identity, territorial integrity and the strength to fight for the right to live on one’s own land is in unity and this strength is much more than the will of any Kremlin dictator. Unity, bravery and persistent fight of Ukrainian people against the Russian military aggression is exemplary for the whole world.
These hard days gave the world civilized community the feeling of solidarity and it is not a coincidence that today, on February 24, the war anniversary, the American Friendship Club decided to hold the solidarity action near the territory of the embassy of Ukraine which was dedicated to the memory of peaceful Ukrainian children, elderly and soldiers who died as a result of the Russian war.
At the same time, with this event we wanted to once again show everyone and, most importantly, the Russian authority in Georgia, what the attitude of freedom-loving Georgian nation is towards brave people of Ukraine and our common values.
Besides, the aim of today’s solidarity action was to once again remind to the Russian authority of Georgia how much evil party and individual collaboration with tyrant Putin brings.
Finally, I consider that besides military support it is extremely significant not to slowdown and further enhance support of brave people of Ukraine.
I am sure very soon brave Ukrainean people and the whole civilized world together with them will celebrate victory on the land of freedom and defeat of the tyrannous regime of Putin and his shameful army.
Indeed! Russia should unequivocally and unconditionally get defeated in this war!!!
Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Georgia and the civilized world!!!
President of the American Friendship Club - Ilia Zukakishvili
February 24, 2023
Executive Government Meeting Gets Held and Led by Prime Minister of Georgia
Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia held and led an Executive Government Meeting at the Government Administration today.
Members of the Cabinet of Ministers discussed 5 agenda items.Discussion topics included a Draft Government Decree on the attraction of funding for the Feasibility Study of the Submarine Black Sea Power Transmission Project.
Namely, work has started on a project with an initiative of Georgia, which implies the interconnection of the Caucasus region and Europe through a high-voltage submarine electricity cable and namely it aims to connect the Georgian and Romanian power grids via a submarine electricity transmission line to be constructed in the basin of the Black Sea.Due Diligence is being performed at present. Funding has been allocated for it in the volume of 2.5 million Euros and study is scheduled to be completed at the end of the current year.
At the same time, the Ministry of Finance of Georgia will approach the World Bank in line with a decision of the Government of Georgia on the allocation of 75 MLN USD for the Feasibility Study to be carried out for the Black Sea Submarine Power Transmission Project. Preliminary agreement has already been reached with the World Bank on the volume and aim of the funding.One more agenda item discussed at the Executive Government Meeting today was a Draft Government Decree on the Agreements to be concluded by and between the Government of Georgia and Adjara Energy 2007 LLC on the Imereti Wind Power Plant.
According to the referred Government Decree, draft agreement approved by the Government of Georgia intended for the comprehensive Feasibility Study on the Imereti Wind Power Plan of the Imereti region identified as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) complies with the applicable legislation on the country. Timeline of 24 months is envisaged from the signing of the referred agreement for the implementation of preparatory works.Capacity of the power plant is 50 megawatts, with generation potential of 180.89 million kilowatts/hr, while the required investment amounts to 66 MLN USD.Press Service of the Government Administration
Performance Report of Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia for 2022
Ladies and Gentlemen,Let me greet you all! First of all, I wish to thank you all for being here today. I wanted to report back to our society and you. Once again, it is a great honor to be here. We have all been through a very challenging time and the Government, along with Parliament and society at large were engaged in the management of this process. Ultimately, our country has exited victoriously at this point in time.Initially, I wish to start with an overview of the region. Unprecedented challenge and crisis is faced on the continent of Europe. War in Ukraine is, of course, a huge challenge to us all. It has made a voluminous impact on the continent of Europe itself and our region and our country – everyone and global politics.It may be said that the entire world is experiencing a huge challenge, which has not been witnessed since WWII. We understand it well and it is a tremendous challenge. Therefore, it requires very prudent management. We pursue our policies accordingly. From day one, we are following the right policy and have been implementing it since then. I have said it many times and it is a shared approach of our team that we should be predominantly guided by the best interests of our country. We have been acting with this key motivation and idea, by pursuing the policy needed for our people in the first place and our national interests.Once again, I wish to state that we are very concerned with this war. I wish to once again demonstrate my support to the Ukrainian people, wishing them peace and quick ending of this war. We reiterate our support for the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. I once again wish to note that this war needs to end as soon as possible.Meanwhile, I wish to once again remind our public that during the pandemic, as well as in the post-pandemic phase, our country combatted a number of challenges. You may well remember that our country was not yet out of the pandemic, when the devastating war started, which gave rise to major problems of course. Nevertheless, with our joint efforts, we – together with our team, Parliament and authorities at large – managed to achieve a 10% economic growth for the second year in a row. This achievement and abundance is, of course, translated into the benefit of our people and reflected on our country, people and society.I wish to touch upon the main development of the year, which is a decision made by the EU on granting the European Perspective to Georgia, which was hard to imagine before. This war has accelerated the process. We understand it well. I wish to note that we were expecting the candidacy status, but we understand that it was only a political decision, rather than being a merit-based one. Georgia thus did not receive the candidacy status, though we believe that it will be granted to our country very soon. Reasons for thinking this way are the developments and successful reforms that we have all implemented, along with 12 recommendations defined for our country, implemented with high precision with engagement of us all – government, parliament, all of us. We are now expecting a decision to be made by our European colleagues. I wish to remind our society hereby that every achievement, every progress made in the past 10 years on the path of European integration is great merits to our team only – be that the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, DCFTA, Visa-Free Travel Arrangement and now an official application for EU membership with European Perspective granted to our country – all of these are great merits to the Georgian Dream!Now as for the economy, I wish to report on several specific results. First of all, let me repeat again that we are thrilled that economic growth will be 10% this year again. Last year it was 10.5%. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Per Capita in 2020 – for comparison – was around 4200 USD. It grew in 2021 and this year is expected to be about 6700 USD. Our forecast for 2023 will reach 8000 USD.Economy of our country in 2020 was around 50 BLN GEL, while it will be 80 BLN GEL in 2023, i.e. we have achieved a growth of 30 billion in 3 years. You may agree that it is quite significant progress. However, we understand that this pace should not stop and more needs to be done with greater responsibility, higher speed. We should continue with our progress and reforms.External Debt – for your information – was increased to 60% of GDP in 2020, while we succeeded in reducing it to 39% in 2022 and it will further decline next year and reach 38%. External Debt volume has been reduced by over 22% within 2 years. During the pandemic – you may recall – the budget deficit was very high at 9.3%. When I was appointed as the Prime Minister of Georgia last year, it was reduced to 6.1% and later – this year – to under 3%. Next year it will be 2.8%, which is also a considerable progress. I wish to thank everyone [engaged in this process].Now, as for the export indicators: you may be aware that in the past 2 years we substantially increased exports from the country. Jan-Nov (11 months of 2022) data evidence that it has been increased by 32%, amounting to over 5 BLN USD. Domestic exports increased by 21%, amounting to 3.4 BLN USD. Trade volumes in Jan-Nov (11 months of 2022) reached 17 BLN USD, which – compared to the previous year – evidenced a 32% increase. I wish to hereby note that trade volume in the first 10 months of the year exceeds the annual indicator of the previous one.Tourism has recovered at a high speed. It could be said that it recovered completely. We have more room to increase it further next year. Proceeds from tourism amount to 3.2 BLN USD.I wish to note herewith that transportation of cargo by road, rail and other means is record-high amounting 25 billion tons, which is almost 20% higher than the respective indicator of the previous year.Dear Friends, it was a positive year for the foreign direct investments (FDI) as well. Indicator for 2022 increased by 100%, amounting to about 1.7 BLN USD during the first 10 months of the year. If we compare this indicator with that of 2021, the increase will be 100%, as I told you already, and 72% in contrast with 2019. I wish to note that the share of the EU in the FDI is 47%.Poverty and unemployment, naturally, is our main challenge for our government in the country. Our declared policy is to overcome poverty and reduction of unemployment in the most efficient manner. Q3 of the year stood out in this context as well. Unemployment level dropped to the historic minimum and amounted 15.6%. I also wish to tell you that 229 000 new jobs were created within 2 years – from Q2 of 2021 through Q3 of 2022. Thus, 229 000 people got employed within almost 2 years, out of which 209 000 jobs were created in the private sector and you may be aware that several months ago we launched a program of public works, which envisaged the employment of socially vulnerable, but otherwise capable individuals. Over 30 000 socially vulnerable people got employed in the past 6-7 months. Resources are wide-ranging as you may well be aware that 200 000 individuals in the country are regarded as socially vulnerable, but otherwise capable individuals. Our aim is to get them all employed both in the public and private sectors.Very briefly, I also wish to say that – as I told you – we expect a 10% economic growth this year and according to the medium-term forecast Georgia will have one of the highest economic growth indicators in the region and throughout Europe. These are projections of our partners – IMF and World Bank.Now, as for the energy sector: it is one of the key sectors, which should be developed further and with greater effort. We need to attract more investments. Past 5 years were almost idle in terms of investments to the sector. Under my instructions, active work was pursued with the IMF and we agreed to introduce a new scheme. It has already been approved at the Executive Government Meeting. Tenders will be announced for 1500 megawatts in total. Apart from this, there are the 800 megawatts already committed under the PPA (Power Purchase Agreement). That will be commissioned as well. So, overall, we are referring to at least 2300 megawatts of energy capacity a year that will be generated at hydro power plants (HPP). It translates into an investment of almost 3 BLN USD. It includes hydro, wind and solar energy, which is so important for our energy security and energy independence.I wish to clarify for our society once again that development of energy generation has a tremendous importance for the energy security and energy independence of Georgia, especially against the background of what is happening now in Europe – energy crisis, price increase, when an average price per kilowatt of power energy is 20 cents in European countries. It even went up to 80 cents in Germany in summer. Other countries had 50 and 60, but the average price is 20 cents. Price on energy is very cheap in Georgia. That is why I highlight that more efforts need to be taken towards this end. For that very purpose, we approved a new scheme, as I told you. Besides, we made a successful step forward within this domain. You may well be aware that I was visiting Bucharest a few weeks ago and we launched a historic project. It is an entirely Georgian initiative. We brought it to the EU, to our partners, to our friendly Azerbaijan and Romania. We started to implement it together with Romania, which was joined by Azerbaijan, Hungary and acquired full support of the EU. You have seen that Mrs. Von der Leyen was with us in Bucharest and we celebrated the launch of the project. Feasibility Study will be completed and made readily available in a few months. We will then move to active work towards this end. What will it bring to the country? One may ask. It may be said that it is similar by scale and magnitude to Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC). It is a means of guaranteed sales of power directly linking our grid to the EU grid and market. It is a project of truly historic significance! It will cost about 2-3 BLN USD and we will implement it together with all those countries who signed the Memorandum. That is why, I once again wish to note that it is essential for Georgia to have the relevant energy generation capacity and that is why we need the power energy generation facilities to be built in terms of wind, solar and hydro, as well as thermal power plants to make sure that we sell our share of power energy to the EU, which will generate hundreds of millions in revenues for our country and be ultimately reflected on our people as an overwhelming benefit. I wish to note herewith that when economic growth is ahead of energy generation, it is essential to change the proportion and correlation. Energy generation should be ahead of economic growth in the country. It is believed to be the right sequence.Very briefly, I also wish to say that we had a discussion on this topic. You may recall that several weeks ago I announced that Anaklia Port will be built by our – Government – decision. State should be the owner of this strategic asset. State will thus own 51% of Anaklia Port. Poti Port is privatized. Batumi Port is privatized as well. We have no leverage to regulate the tariffs or other aspects of their operation. Especially when Central Asian countries agree that diversification and identification of new routes is essential, our corridor acquires a special importance. Particular focus is made on our corridor and that is why ports, infrastructure and railway need to operate smoothly. That is why we pay special attention and will make efforts and investments. On the remaining 49% we wish to announce an international tender. Many companies are expressing their interest and in the coming months we will have the result known.
Government meeting chaired by Prime Minister of Georgia
A Government meeting was held today under the chairmanship of Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili at the Administration of the Government.The Members of the Cabinet of Ministers discussed 14 topics. One of the topics to be discussed involved the participation of Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency in 500 Georgia LP, a venture investment fund. It was noted that the development of innovative business has reached a level when global players take an interest in investing in the Georgian startup ecosystem. Georgia 500 is a 20-million-USD venture fund established by 500 Global to support and further develop investments in Georgian startups and innovations.Notably, it will be a venture fund, in which, alongside the Government of Georgia, the private sector will also take part, namely the Innovation and Technology Agency will be the fund’s partner with a 5-million-USD investment.The topics to be discussed also included several draft ordinances of the Government of Georgia on the development of wind farms and solar and hydropower plants in Georgia. The installed capacity of these projects is over 153 MW.The Members of Government discussed the draft ordinance of the Government of Georgia on the agreement on the Ksani Wind Farm to be executed between the Government of Georgia and Wind Farm LLC, based on which an agreement will be signed between Government of Georgia and Wind Farm LLC, to obligate the company to carry out a technical and economic study of the Ksani Wind Farm’s project at its own expense within 12 months. The project is planned to be implemented in Ksani Municipality. According to the project, the expected installed capacity will make up 50 MW, with the annual generation reaching 173.5 million kWh , and the project’s value constituting 59.4 million USD.The draft ordinance of the Government of Georgia on the agreement on the Devashi HPP to be signed between the Government of Georgia and United Power Energy LLC was also discussed at the meeting. Based on this agreement, the company is obligated to carry out a technical and economic study of the Devashi HPP project at its own expense within 15 months.The hydropower plant’s location is the Devashi River, Lentekhi Municipality. According to the project, the expected installed capacity will be 5.45 MW, with the annual generation reaching 28 million kWh, and the project’s value constituting 4.389 million USD.The Members of Government also discussed the draft ordinance of the Government of Georgia on the approval of the Akhali Samgori solar power plant’s concept and the implementation of accompanying measures, based on which Georgian Energy Development Fund JSC will be tasked with implementing preliminary work under the project of the Akhali Samgori solar power plant. The power plant’s location is the village of Akhali Samgori, Gardabani Municipality. According to the power plant’s project, the expected installed capacity will be 96 MW, with the annual generation reaching 96.7 million kWh , and the project’s value constituting 86.935 million USD.
Press Service of the Government Administration
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