JSC Liberty Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Population Fund
The purpose of this MoU is to provide a framework of cooperation and facilitate collaboration between Liberty and UNFPA in areas of common interest – to promote healthy and active ageing and gender equality in Georgia. This cooperation considers the following areas of activity:
- Liberty Bank will partner with UNFPA Georgia Country Office to inform older people about COVID-19 and disseminate relevant materials among the older people across the country. UNFPA Georgia and Liberty Bank will also conduct a joint campaign to raise awareness on COVID-19 among older people, their family members and caregivers;
- Liberty Bank will support “60+ clubs for healthy and active life”, initiated by UNFPA Georgia in partnership with local municipalities and NGOs.
- UNFPA Georgia and Liberty Bank will explore opportunities to promote gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in Georgia.
“I am extremely proud of this new partnership, which reinforces Liberty’s commitment to the safety of older population in Georgia and also, prevention and raising awareness regarding Covid-19.” said Vasil Khodeli, the CEO of Liberty Bank, “For the past few years, at Liberty we have been continuously creating special spaces and events for 60+ population through various educational and entertainment programs offline and online. Today, we are excited to greet UNFPA as our partners and join the forces towards promoting the importance of healthy and active life for elderly as well as explore the opportunities to promote gender equality and empowerment of women in Georgia.”
“We at the UNFPA see huge potential in this partnership with the Liberty Bank,” said Lela Bakradze, Head of the UNFPA Georgia Country Office, “Promoting healthy and active ageing and gender equality will help the country to progress towards achieving sustainable development. It is very important to partner with Liberty Bank – a company which shares our values and is ready to invest in the better lives of senior citizens, women and adolescent girls in Georgia. We believe that our cooperation will be a new step towards building more equal society where no one will be left behind.”
Team Europe: EIB immediate Covid-19 response support to the Georgian MSME sector reaches milestone with additional support to Liberty Bank
- The EU bank will extend Covid-measures to the existing credit line at the Liberty Bank for a total of €17.5 million, including a €2.5 million multi-currency top-up.
- Loan reinforces Team Europe support for the recovery of Georgian MSMEs from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as sustains jobs, maintains liquidity and operations, and fuels the economic recovery of Georgia.
- In 2020 alone, EIB provided €70 million to support faster recovery of Georgian businesses from COVID-19 pandemic
The European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending arm of the European Union, and Liberty Bank agreed to expand an existing credit line for Georgian micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with additional €2.5 million to a total of €17.5 million. With this signature, the EIBs total Covid-19 immediate response comprises additional lending exceeding € 70 million, and existing loans benefiting from Covid measures exceeding € 90 million.
The EIB loans inject fresh capital into the national financial market at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is burdening SMEs with liquidity issues and restricting their ability to access finance for maintaining daily operations or funding expansion plans.
The loan agreement was signed in presence Charles Michel, the President of the European Council.
Please find the video materials here: https://we.tl/t-HjPiBizZZK
EIB President Werner Hoyer, said: “Team Europe and the EIB will continue to build up our support for the Georgian MSMEs and fuel the economic and social recovery of the national economy from COVID-19. Last year alone we boosted Georgian recovery from COVID-19 with EUR 170 – 70 million in new lending for MSMES, and 100 million for the reinforcement of the national healthcare sector`s ability to deal with the pandemic. Today, the EIB increased both the amount and the attractiveness of our loans available to MSMEs, as this is the first loan the EU Bank provides to a counterpart in Georgia in local currency. We look forward maintaining our position as the trusted ally of the Republic of Georgia and a key source of support for sustainable social and economic development.”
CEO of Liberty Bank Vasil Khodeli commented: “I would like to thank EIB and the EU for their continuous support and the confidence they have shown in Liberty Bank. Thanks to the increased loan amount, Liberty Bank will unlock significant additional lending for MSMEs in Georgia. The coronavirus has hit MSMEs very hard and this facility will provide much needed support for our clients to overcome short-term liquidity shortages, maintain jobs and support economic recovery in the upcoming months. The additional multi-currency facility equivalent to GEL 10 million includes the possibility to make financing available in local currency, which provides us with greater flexibility to finance and support wider range of MSME businesses in Georgia. This is also a further sign of our commitment to help businesses of all sizes to get through the turbulent times.”
Further increasing affordability of EIB loans
The loan introduces the option to make funding available in synthetic lari, Georgia’s national currency, and increases the affordability of the loans for MSMEs. The expansion will help Georgian MSMEs sustain jobs, maintain liquidity to continue operations, and fuel the economic recovery of Georgia from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The investment from the EU bank forms part of the EIB’s SME Outreach Initiative, which promotes access to finance for MSMEs by supporting smaller local banks to better service their clients. MSMEs are the backbone of the Georgian economy and major employers in the country. The loan expansion comes with a €450,000 in technical assistance to support Liberty Bank improve and expand its offer for MSMEs.
Team Europe adds value for Georgian companies
Covered by a guarantee from the European Union, the loan from the EU bank will enable increase in lending activities to MSMEs without jeopardising the long-term stability of the country’s financial sector or its ability to support the economic recovery from the pandemic in the long term.
This credit line comes with increase attractiveness to SMEs benefiting from the more flexible lending terms enabled by the EIB’s COVID-19 emergency measures. These measures are extended as part of the Team Europe’s efforts to Georgia and other EU partner countries during the pandemic.
To date, the EU bank has invested more than €290 million in credit lines for Georgian businesses, sustaining more than 54,000 jobs in the country.
About the EIB:
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
The EIB in Georgia:
The EU Bank has been supporting economic and social development of Georgia since in 2007, providing to date some EUR 1.85 billion to local economy. The EU Bank activities in the country supported key infrastructure projects (EUR 1bn), MSMEs and mid-caps (EUR 290m), Municipal infrastructure (EUR 280m) and green energy generation projects (EUR 23.5m). COVID-19 recovery activities in 2020 totalled EUR 170m.
Georgia is among a few non-EU countries eligible to benefit from the European Investment Fund (EIF) operations, designed to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with risk-sharing instruments. Today, the EIB Group portfolio of guarantees in Georgia cover EUR 382.9 million of SMEs loans.
The EIB finances most projects in Georgia under the EU External Lending Mandate. This provides the EIB with a guarantee covered by the EU budget for projects in the fields of social and economic infrastructure, local private sector development and climate action. Projects may also benefit from EU grants made available under the DCFTA program funded by the NIP, which amongst others promotes EIB’s efforts to make funding available in local currency.
About JSC Liberty Bank:
Liberty Bank is one of the largest Banks in Georgia, with total Assets of over GEL 2 bln and Capital GEL 200 mln. The Bank operates the largest branch network comprised of over 360 branches and 570 ATMs. The Bank is the exclusive agent of the Government of Georgia for the distribution of pensions and social benefits. The Bank employs over 4600 employees serving over 1.7 mln customers.
For more information on the EIB’s activities in Georgia please follow: https://www.eib.org/en/publications/the-european-investment-bank-in-georgia
Source: The EU Press Release
United Nations statement on the death of Kobuleti teenage girl
The United Nations family in Georgia expresses dismay at the recent suicide of a teenage girl from Kobuleti, extends its deepest condolences to the family and calls for a thorough investigation of the circumstances that led to her death.
This tragedy points to persistent stigma around rape, sexual violence and exploitation and gender inequality in Georgia, shortcomings on the part of the child protection system, along with gaps in psycho-social assessment, provision of support services and child-friendly justice for children in contact with the law.
Wherever lapses are documented, we call for a dedicated effort at improvements, whether in legislation on sexual violence, law enforcement practices, social welfare protection, child protection referral procedures or child-friendly judicial processes.
In the justice system, specialized professionals should be assigned to work on child and sexual violence cases. We also recommend creation of an integrated service for child victims of sexual violence that provides a child-friendly justice process and child psycho-social rehabilitation in one space.
Social norms and attitudes that condone sexual violence against women and girls and blame the victims or prevent professionals from reporting on the cases of violence also need to be confronted.
Immediate and energetic measures are necessary to avoid a repetition of this tragedy and to ensure that the fundamental human rights of women and girls are fully respected at all times and in all situations and that women and girls are equipped with the right knowledge and skills and they are empowered to make decisions about their present and future.
The UN in Georgia stands in solidarity and remains committed to work with the Georgian government, civil society groups, and with the human rights activists to address systemic problems that contribute to such tragedies.
OPENING EVENT TO LAUNCH THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF PEACE AND TRUST WAS HELD IN ASHGABAT
On the 29th of January, 2021, the Opening event to launch the International Year of Peace and Trust was held in the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.
The heads and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, deputies of the Mejlis (Parliament), chiefs of diplomatic missions and representative offices of international organizations in Turkmenistan, Rectors of the institutions of higher education of the country, Editors-in-chief of press and representatives of national mass media, as well as foreign journalists accredited in Turkmenistan took part in the event.
The heads and representatives of the United Nations and its structural agencies, Economic Cooperation Organization, Commonwealth of Independent States, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, as well as other regional and international organizations, and foreign mass media participated to the event via videoconferencing.
During her opening remarks, the Acting UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan, UNICEF Representative in Turkmenistan Christine Weigand noted the importance of the International Year of Peace and Trust initiated by the President of Turkmenistan for the sake of sustaining peace, stability and mutual understanding between people which is the key to sustainable development.
In continuation of the topic, the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov underlined that the unanimous adoption at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly of the Resolution declaring the year 2021 as the International Year of Peace and Trust has become a reflection of the efforts of the permanently neutral Turkmenistan calling for strengthening of the culture of peace and trust in the international relations. “Putting forward this idea, the Leader of Turkmen nation has specifically stated that it has a concrete nature and thus urged the international community to reinforce the adopted document with practical content, enrich it with real actions,” said R.Meredov. The head of the MFA of Turkmenistan underlined the significance of applying the means of diplomacy, the political dialog based on mutual understanding and cooperation in the advancement of friendly ties between countries and people and to achieve this Turkmenistan actively cooperates with the international partners.
Speaking at the opening ceremony Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Central Asia, Head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia Natalya Gherman underlined the importance of the International Year of Peace and Trust, which meant greater cohesion for the sake of peace and prosperity of the world community.
The timeliness of the International Year of Peace and Trust was also highlighted in the speech of the President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Volkan Bozkir. Thanking the Government of Turkmenistan for initiating the International Year of Peace and Trust, he underlined that in view of the global situation, the need in peace and trust is high as never before. Mr. Bozkir urged the international community to continue cooperating through political dialog and solidarity on the way to peace, security and sustainable development.
His words were complemented by the Permanent Representative of Turkmenistan to the United Nations Aksoltan Atayeva who noted the efficiency of peaceful initiatives of the President of Turkmenistan that help to attain the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Minister of Foreign affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov highlighted in his speech the specific need in conducting International year of peace and trust which calls upon to activate efforts and activity on advocating the culture of peace.
In her speech the Head of the OSCE Center in Ashgabat Natalya Drozd spoke about the importance of strengthening the culture of peace and trust.
The Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization Hadi Soleimanpour also gave a speech at the event. He highly appraised the level of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the ECO, as well as emphasized that the economic progress is inseparably linked to the security in the region and in the world, and to attain this it is necessary to strengthen trust between countries and people.
About the importance of strengthening peace and trust between countries and people has also spoke the Chairman of the Executive Committee - Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States Sergey Lebedev. He highlighted the effective role of Turkmenistan in the development of friendly ties not only in the region, but also in the whole world.
The Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva, Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament Tatiana Valovaya and the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Lassina Zerbo highly appraised the role of Turkmenistan in the development of friendly and constructive ties between countries.
In turn, the President of the General Conference of UNESCO Altay Cengizer and Assistant Director-General for the Africa Department of UNESCO Firmin Edouard Matoko emphasized the timeliness of holding the International Year of Peace and Trust. They noted that the notion of peace and trust are the keystones of international cooperation.
Furthermore, the UNODC representative, Ppermanent representatives of Afghanistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Indonesia and Bangladesh at the UN have underlined the importance of conducting International year of peace and trust in the context of fully strengthening solidarity and mutual support on regional and global levels to create cohesion for addressing pressing issues of present.
During the event, the participants discussed the possibilities of holding joint events in the framework of the International Year of Peace and Trust. A constructive exchange of views and proposals on the improvement of activities on the platform of regional and international organizations for the sake of peace, stability and sustainable development took place. Thus, upon the outcomes of the event, the Roadmap of the International Year of Peace and Trust was adopted.
USAID and the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs join forces to combat disinformation and help Georgia build a stronger democracy
USAID and the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs join forces to combat disinformation and help Georgia build a stronger democracy!
Today, USAID/Georgia Mission Director Peter Wiebler joined Ambassador of the Czech Republic Petr Mikyska in signing a Memorandum of Understanding.
Together, we’re partnering on the Supporting Democratic Resilience in Georgia project, a new activity to help Georgia’s civil society and independent media combat disinformation and provide people with fact-based information about important issues.
Implemented by People in Need, the European Values Center for Security Policy, and Transitions Online, this activity will help the Georgian people build a more resilient, more responsive democracy.
A new partnership initiative to support primary health care launched in Georgia
A new partnership initiative to support primary health care launched in Georgia.
"Focusing and improving Georgia's primary healthcare is one of our top priorities" - Czech Ambassador to Georgia H.E. Petr Mikyska said at the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Czech Development Agency (CzechAid) and UNICEF Georgia. The Memorandum was signed by the Ambassador on behalf of the Czech Development Agency and the Director of UNICEF Georgia Mr. Ghassan Khalil. Mrs. Tamar Gabunia, First Deputy Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, witnessed the signature.
Within the framework of the Memorandum, the Czech Development Agency and UNICEF unite their forces to support the strengthening of primary health care in Georgia, expanding the original CzechAid project (focused mainly on the adult population) to children, youth and maternity. The project was conceived in close cooperation with Georgian authorities, reflecting the urgent needs in this field.
In total, 46 primary health care facilities will be covered by the project, including 146 village doctors and nurses in Dusheti and Zugdidi municipalities. Project duration is from May 2020 till June 2023, with total funding by the Czech Government via CzechAid of 1.25 million EUR and UNICEF contribution of 70 000 USD with future expansion of around 85 000 USD.