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.
Ambassador Petr Mikyska opened the first informal meeting of Czech Business Platform in GeorgiaOn March 24, 2021, Ambassador Petr Mikyska opened the first informal meeting of Czech Business Platform in Georgia. The Platform was established on the initiative and under the auspices of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Tbilisi. There were nearly thirty representatives of Czech companies operating in Georgia and Georgian entrepreneurs selling Czech products or representing Czech entities participating in the first meeting. Representatives of the Czech non-governmental organizations Caritas Czech Republic in Georgia and People in Need were also present.Among those present were representatives of the largest Czech investors in Georgia ENERGO-PRO and MND (KBOC); representatives of ŠKODA Auto, KOPOS Kolín, Elkoplast, Alka Plast, TON, Eco-Bohemia, Wiemarg; importers, distributors and producers of beer using Czech technologies (Plzeň, Český ráj, Apeni, Ludi Batumuri, U Lva), real estate companies (Stratos, L&R Company Services), tourism (Georgia-Trip), medicine (National Laboratory of Genetics). The director of the Czech Trade office in Baku, P. Zelenka, who also covers Georgia, attended the meeting. The chairman of the newly revived Czech-Georgian Chamber of Commerce, D. Mahovský, informed about the planned activities. In the future, cooperation with other institutions is planned, such as the Chamber of Commerce of the Czech Republic, the Confederation of Industry and Transport of the Czech Republic, the Confederation of Municipalities and Cities. Representatives of the non-governmental sector presented the possibilities of cooperation with companies, their involvement in development cooperation projects and the concept of corporate social responsibility.The mission of the Platform is to enable discussion and exchange of views between representatives of companies and Embassy and companies themselves, sharing information, knowledge, skills and experience, strengthening public-private partnerships, ensuring greater regularity in contacts with Czech institutions, building links with Georgian partners and strengthening the brand of Czechia. Last but not least, the Platform should be a place for coordinating the promotion and protection of the interests of Czech companies through the Embassy. The Platform is open to all Czech companies interested in the Georgian market and Georgian companies selling Czech products.During the informal part, the participants shared their experiences from working in Georgia and generally positively assessed the idea of establishing the Platform. The prevailing opinion among those present was that meetings should take place regularly three times a year.Embassy of the Czech Republic in Tbilisi, Georgia
EU doubles contribution to COVAX to €1 billion to ensure safe and effective vaccines for low and middle-income countries
The European Union has announced today an additional €500 million for the COVAX Facility, doubling its contribution to date for the global initiative that is leading efforts to secure fair and equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in low and middle-income countries. This new pledge brings us closer to achieving COVAX's target to deliver 1.3 billion doses for 92 low and middle income countries by the end of 2021. Team Europe is one of the lead contributors to COVAX with over €2.2 billion, including another €900 million pledged today by Germany.
Announcing the new contribution at the G7 virtual leaders' meeting, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “Last year, as part of our Coronavirus Global Response, we committed to ensuring universal access to vaccines everywhere on Earth, for everyone who would need them. COVAX is best placed to help us reach this goal. This is why we decided to double the European Commission's contribution to COVAX, to €1 billion. With this new financial boost we want to make sure vaccines are soon delivered to low and middle-income countries. Because we will only be safe if the whole world is safe.”
Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships, added: “We are in a race against the virus and COVAX is our best hope that all our partners, in Africa and elsewhere, have access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. The EU has been leading efforts in international fora, such as the G20 and G7, to guarantee that collectively we ensure that COVID-19 vaccines become a global public good. This is why today we are doubling our support to COVAX.”
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, stressed: “Humanism and solidarity are essential values for Europe. These values have been our compass since the onset of the pandemic. The EU has invested close to €3 billion to pre-finance the production of safe and effective vaccines, which will benefit not only the EU but citizens across the world. Vaccines produced in Europe are now going all over the world and we as Team Europe are working to share doses secured under our advanced purchase agreements preferably through COVAX with the Western Balkans, Neighborhood and Africa – benefitting above all health workers and humanitarian needs.”
The contribution announced today is composed of a new €300 million EU grant and €200 million in guarantees by the European Fund for Sustainable Development plus (EFSD+) that will back a loan by the European Investment Bank. This is subject to the adoption of the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) by the Council and the European Parliament. The EIB loan to be guaranteed by EFSD+ is subject to the approval of the EIB's Board of Directors. These funds will complement a previous €100 million grant and €400 million in guarantees from the EU budget.
To date, a total of 191 countries participate in the COVAX Facility, 92 of them low and middle-income economies eligible to get access to COVID-19 vaccines through Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC). Most of these are in Africa. Through these contributions, the Commission and its partners will secure purchase options for future COVID-19 vaccines for all the participants in the Facility.
Vaccines will be procured and delivered to countries by the UNICEF Supply Division and the PAHO's Revolving Fund for Access to Vaccines. The fast arrival of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines has shown that multilateralism and multi-actor partnerships work to solve the most pressing problems of our time.
COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
The COVAX Facility aims to purchase 2 billion doses by the end of 2021, including at least 1.3 billion doses for low and middle-income country. It will help to develop a diversified portfolio of vaccines, negotiated with different suppliers, and covering different scientific technologies, delivery times and prices. The COVAX Facility is a risk-sharing mechanism: it reduces the risk for manufacturers who invest without being sure about future demand, and it reduces the risk that countries would fail to secure access to a viable vaccine.
The European Commission is committed to ensuring that everyone who needs a vaccine gets it, anywhere in the world, and to promote global health. This is why together with partners it has helped raised almost €16 billion since 4 May 2020 under the Coronavirus Global Response, the global action in support of universal access to tests, treatments and vaccines against coronavirus and for the global recovery. Team Europe's contribution was as follows: EU Member States (€3.1 billion), European Commission (over €1.4 billion) and EIB (almost €2 billion pledged in May and €4.9 billion pledged in June).
The EU's efforts to develop and produce an effective vaccine will benefit all in the global community. The EU investment in scaling up manufacturing capacity will be to the service of all countries in need. Through its Advanced Purchase Agreements, it requires manufacturers to make their production capacity available to supply all countries and calls for the free flow of vaccines and materials with no export restrictions. For instance, the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-GSK, with whom the Commission concluded an Advanced Purchase Agreement in September, will endeavour to provide a significant portion of their vaccine supply through the COVAX facility.
Building on the EU Vaccines Strategy, the EU is in the process of setting up vaccine sharing mechanism to allow EU Member States to redirect some of the doses procured under the advanced purchased agreement, preferably through COVAX.
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Meeting of Mikheil Sarjveladze with Czech Ambassador, H.E. Petr Mikyska
The Chair of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee, Mikheil Sarjveladze hosted the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Georgia, H.E. Petr Mikyska to discuss the directions and priorities of the Committee.
"It was an interesting and fruitful meeting. We introduced to the Ambassador the strategy and main directions of our Committee's activities. Special emphasis was placed on the protection of the rights of persons in the occupied territories and, in this regard, the need for important steps in the international arena to force the occupying state and, consequently, the criminal group operating directly in the occupied territories to retreat, for example, in the case of Zaza Gakheladze.
Among other priorities, it is important to ensure the standards set out in the Association Agenda for the protection of human rights, which should be typical of a country with a claim to Europeanness. In this regard, the Ambassador expressed commitment and desire to be involved in this process and participate in planning various joint projects", - M. Sarjveladze commented.
Administration of the Parliament of Georgia
Meeting of Maka Botchorishvili with Petr Mikyska
The diplomat expressed the Czech Republic's unwavering support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as for Georgia's European aspirations.
During the meeting, the Czech Ambassador echoed to Georgia's foreign policy priorities, including the application for EU membership in 2024, noting that full implementation of the Association Agreement in this regard is the right strategy.
The parties underlined the close cooperation between the countries in various fields. For her part, M. Botchorishvili expressed gratitude for the support provided by the Czech Republic to Georgia.
During the meeting, the issue of grasping the DCFTA between Georgia and the European Union was discussed. The sides discussed Georgia's export strategies to the EU and in this regard, and stressed the need for close cooperation between businesses.
M. Botchorishvili and P. Mikyska spoke about the dangers posed by disinformation and hybrid war in Georgia and noted that the support of the EU and partner countries in this direction is very important for the country.
The meeting of the Czech Ambassador in the Foreign Relations Committee
The Chair of the Committee, Nikoloz Samkharadze and the First Deputy, Giorgi Khelashvili held the meeting with the Czech Ambassador, H.E. Petr Mikyska to discuss the Georgia-Czech relations, cooperation priorities and inter-Parliamentary directions.
Georgian MPs informed the Ambassador about the Parliamentary Resolution on Foreign Policy and stressed the foreign priorities jointly developed by the Parliament and Government. As noted, EU integration is one of the top priorities of Georgia and the country is getting gradually ready to apply for EU membership in 2024.
The parties overviewed the domestic political situation in Georgia, democratic reforms, regional security and the pandemic management issues.
The Ambassador expressed intact support to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and the foreign policy of the country. As noted, Czech Republic undertakes several important projects in Georgia facilitating the political and economic development of the country.
The parties agreed on cooperation formats and communication ways.