Frontline medical workers in Georgia receive protective equipment

Published in Health
Friday, 15 May 2020 11:18

On 14 May, the EU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) delivered 7,500 protective face shields to the Emergency Situations Coordination and Urgent Assistance Centre of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia.

Manufactured by a Georgian company with support from the EU and the UNDP, the adjustable and reusable face shields will help ensure that emergency crews in Tbilisi and other regions are able to do their job safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. The face shields are made from recycled plastic bottles.

This assistance is part of a larger programme whose aim is to support healthcare staff, civil servants and other at-risk personnel across Georgia, and provide people with essential healthcare and other services.

The Visa Foundation Announces Grantee to Support COVID-19 Recovery in Central Europe (including Georgia), Middle East and Africa

Published in Economics
Wednesday, 13 May 2020 17:44

Funds will support relief efforts being undertaken by the Red Cross

Tbilisi, May 13, 2020 – The Visa Foundation today announced its approval of a $1.6 million COVID-19 relief grant to the Red Cross to support their COVID-19 recovery programs across Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. The Red Cross is supporting the frontline response to the pandemic and providing critical services for vulnerable communities through public health and disaster relief services.

This grant is part of the Visa Foundation’s previously announced $210 million global commitment, with $10 million in COVID-19 relief focused on the emergency needs announced this week for organizations worldwide and another $200 million to address longer-term needs of the small and micro business community over the next five years. Globally, the Visa Foundation is providing $4.3 million in funding to support the Red Cross’ COVID-19 programs.

“Societies around the world have faced unprecedented challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the outbreak placing immense strain on public health providers and other essential services,” said Andrew Torre, Regional President CEMEA, Visa. “We are incredibly grateful and inspired by the tireless work of all humanitarian organizations at this time, and are pleased the Visa Foundation grants will support the ongoing efforts of the Red Cross.”

Across the CEMEA region, COVID-19 has placed additional challenges on communities, with many already suffering the effects of poverty, insecurity, conflict or climate change. The grant to the Red Cross aims to provide much needed support to continue providing vital services across the region.

“We’re grateful for the amazing work humanitarian assistance organizations are providing to communities around the world affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, “ said Graham MacMillan, president of the Visa Foundation. “The Visa Foundation is proud to offer these grants to support these organizations’ mission-critical work during these perilous times.”

The forthcoming 5-year $200 million program will support small and micro businesses, with a focus on fostering women’s economic advancement, both of which will be critical to long-term economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This commitment expands the Visa Foundation’s long-standing support for small and micro businesses globally. Additional information on the Foundation’s grant and investment strategy will be shared in the coming months.

For more information: 

About the Visa Foundation

The Visa Foundation seeks to support inclusive economies where individuals, businesses and communities can thrive. Through grantmaking and investing, the Foundation prioritizes the resilience and growth of micro and small businesses that benefit women. The Foundation also supports broader community needs and disaster response in times of crisis. The Visa Foundation is registered in the U.S. as a 501(c)3 entity. For more information, visit https://usa.visa.com/about-visa/philanthropy/visa-foundation.html.

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere.  As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa, visa.com.ge, facebook.com/VisaGeorgiaGE

Statement of the President of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, regarding the 71st anniversary of the Council of Europe

Published in World
Thursday, 07 May 2020 10:43

Today, the 5th of May, marks the anniversary of the signing of the Statute of the Council of Europe in London by ten countries.
 
This historic development represents the first attempt towards a united European action to promote peaceful coexistence, prevent conflicts and promote and protect the fundamental rights of all individuals in Europe, without exception.
 
The Council of Europe, with its 47 member States, has been instrumental in agreeing common standards on human rights, democracy and the rule of law for over 7 decades. Let me underline the fundamental role of the European Convention on Human Rights, drafted seventy years ago in 1950, by the then newly founded Council of Europe, that enabled the setting-up of a unique human rights protection system, constituting the anchor of European co-operation. I hope that this new decade will bring us the same determination to defend human rights as that of the authors of the Convention 70 years ago. It should be recalled that more than 830 million people living in our common European space have an ultimate right of appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
 
This important anniversary coincides with an unprecedented global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our heartfelt sympathies go to those who have lost their loved ones, family members and friends. At this critical crossroads, we all have to be united and determined to do our utmost to overcome the current crisis.
 
After more than 7 decades of service to peace, democracy, the rule of law and the protection of human rights, the Council of Europe has contributed to number of significant achievements but there is still much more to accomplish. It is more urgent than ever to intensify our efforts to solidify respect for human rights in the years to come.”

Туркменистан инициирует стратегию солидарных действий в преодолении глобального кризиса

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 05 May 2020 13:11

Президент Гурбангулы Бердымухамедов принял участие во встрече на высшем уровне Движения неприсоединения в формате Контактной группы, посвящённой противодействию коронавирусной инфекции COVID-19 и проведённой по видеосвязи.

Основной темой форума была обозначена консолидация общих усилий в борьбе с пандемией коронавируса, ставшей новым, крайне серьёзным вызовом для всего мирового сообщества.

Последовательно реализуя внешнеполитический курс, базирующийся на принципах позитивного нейтралитета, миролюбия и добрососедства, Туркменистан выступает за развитие широкого плодотворного сотрудничества, отвечающего целям благополучия в региональном и глобальном измерении.

Стремясь реализовать свой созидательный потенциал на общее благо, наша страна также активно взаимодействует с авторитетными международными организациями и структурами, внося весомый вклад в укрепление конструктивного партнёрства по выработке сбалансированных решений актуальных вопросов современности.

На нынешней встрече на высшем уровне Президент Азербайджанской Республики – Председатель Движения неприсоединения Ильхам Алиев с большим почтением предоставил слово Президенту Туркменистана.

Выступая на видеофоруме, Президент Гурбангулы Бердымухамедов поблагодарил Президента Ильхама Алиева за инициативу созыва нынешней встречи, посвящённой острейшей проблеме, с которой столкнулось человечество.

Глава государства выразил убеждение, что Движение неприсоединения, насчитывающее в своих рядах 120 государств, объединённых общей ответственностью за судьбу планеты, не может оставаться в стороне от её решения. В этом смысле сегодняшняя встреча в режиме «онлайн» является значимой и своевременной, даёт возможность обменяться мнениями и оценками сложной ситуации, наметить пути её преодоления.

В данном контексте глава Туркменистана остановился на некоторых аспектах этой проблемы.

Во-первых, очевидно, что эффективное противодействие пандемии требует от всего международного сообщества коллективных действий. Говоря об этом, Президент Гурбангулы Бердымухамедов сделал особый акцент на том, что действия должны быть солидарными.

Разумеется, каждая страна на национальном уровне, в зависимости от ситуации, выстраивает собственную линию противодействия распространению опасной инфекции. Вместе с тем, выразив мнение, что в одиночку, наверное, можно решить кратковременные задачи, добиться локальных успехов, Президент отметил, что пандемия – это глобальный вызов и потому требует долгосрочной стратегии универсального характера.

В данной связи глава Туркменистана предложил разработать и принять в рамках Движения неприсоединения программный документ, включающий основные принципы солидарной деятельности государств-членов в борьбе с эпидемиями, а также комплекс мер, нацеленных на их предупреждение и искоренение.

Касаясь второго аспекта, Президент Гурбангулы Бердымухамедов констатировал, что важнейшим элементом многосторонних усилий сегодня выступает взаимопомощь государств – организационная, моральная, финансовая, материальная. При оказании такой помощи ни в коем случае неприемлемы любые формы её политизации, дискриминации, выдвижение каких-либо встречных условий.

В-третьих, огромное значение в борьбе с пандемией и её последствиями приобретает тесное взаимодействие между профессионалами. Нужно в полной мере задействовать механизмы научной дипломатии. Она подразумевает постоянный обмен опытом, знаниями и информацией по методам лечения и профилактике заболевания, медицинским препаратам и оборудованию, средствам индивидуальной защиты. В этом контексте глава Туркменистана высказался о целесообразности создания Совета учёных-медиков неприсоединившихся государств.

Переходя к четвёртому аспекту, Президент Гурбангулы Бердымухамедов отметил, что совместная многосторонняя работа должна вестись при координирующей роли Организации Объединённых Наций и в тесном сотрудничестве с Всемирной организацией здравоохранения, накопившей уникальный опыт борьбы с вирусными заболеваниями.

Пользуясь случаем, выразив со стороны Туркменистана полную поддержку деятельности ВОЗ и искренне поблагодарив её руководство и сотрудников за самоотверженную и профессиональную работу, глава государства подчеркнул, что наша страна продолжит активное сотрудничество с этой важной международной структурой и готова оказывать ей всяческое содействие.

Как отметил далее Президент Туркменистана, назрела необходимость в создавшейся ситуации наладить эффективные каналы партнёрства между Движением неприсоединения и ВОЗ, прежде всего, по линии медицинских сообществ наших стран. Говоря об этом, туркменский лидер предложил поручить Правительствам государств-членов Движения неприсоединения совместно поработать над формами такой совместной деятельности.

В продолжение темы глава Туркменистана также подчеркнул необходимость более эффективного сотрудничества с Организацией Объединённых Наций и её специализированными структурами.

Обращаясь к участникам видеофорума, Президент Гурбангулы Бердымухамедов отметил, что, наряду с неотложными мерами и задачами сегодняшнего дня, мы обязаны думать о будущем.

Очевидно, что повестка предстоящей сессии Генеральной Ассамблеи ООН будет существенно скорректирована с учётом пандемии и во многом ориентирована на посткризисный период, в котором всему мировому сообществу предстоит работа над восстановлением экономики, социальной сферы, решением гуманитарных вопросов.

Поэтому уже сейчас необходимо создавать платформы для вывода глобальной экономики на траекторию устойчивого роста и ключевыми направлениями должны стать энергетика, промышленность, транспорт, торговля.

Мировой энергетический рынок ещё никогда не сталкивался с такими трудностями, как нынешние. В этих условиях особую значимость приобретает налаживание энергопоставок на мировые рынки на справедливых и прозрачных принципах, равноправии, признании и учёте интересов государств, заявил Президент Гурбангулы Бердымухамедов. Важнейшим аспектом достижения этой цели является диверсификация энергопотоков.

То же самое можно сказать о транспорте, продолжил глава Туркменистана, подчеркнув необходимость быстрого и полного восстановления транспортного сообщения между странами и регионами, транзитных коридоров, поиска новых маршрутов. Эта работа приведёт к созданию новой инфраструктуры и, как следствие, к решению многих социальных проблем, преодолению безработицы, созданию новых рабочих мест.

Как отметил Президент Туркменистана, важную роль в этом призваны сыграть наши государства, которые должны внести свой вклад в позитивное развитие геоэкономических процессов в мире.

Нам также предстоит объединить усилия в решении масштабных гуманитарных вопросов, вызванных последствиями пандемии, подчеркнул Президент. Помощь мигрантам, беженцам, уязвимым слоям населения, особенно в развивающихся странах, должна оставаться в приоритете повестки Движения неприсоединения.

Обозначив главным, решающим условием достижения всех поставленных целей, полного преодоления нынешнего кризиса обеспечение прочного мира и безопасности, туркменский лидер констатировал, что невозможно говорить об успешной борьбе с пандемией, преодолении её последствий на фоне войн и конфликтов. Поэтому мы, государства Движения неприсоединения, должны решительно заявить о своей твёрдой приверженности мирному решению всех международных споров и противоречий, подчеркнул Президент Гурбангулы Бердымухамедов.

Как известно, по инициативе Туркменистана Генеральная Ассамблея ООН в сентябре прошлого года единогласно приняла Резолюцию об объявлении 2021 года Международным годом мира и доверия. В этой связи туркменский лидер обратился к странам Движения неприсоединения с призывом активно содействовать достижению целей, прописанных в тексте Резолюции, внести свой вклад в мирное, конструктивное развитие процессов на планете.

В завершение глава Туркменистана выразил поддержку представленному проекту Декларации, пожелав всем участникам встречи крепкого здоровья и успехов, а народам стран Движения неприсоединения – мира и благополучия.

Президент Азербайджанской Республики – нынешний Председатель Движения неприсоединения выразил признательность Президенту Туркменистана Гурбангулы Бердымухамедову за выдвинутые инициативы по координированию глобальных усилий в преодолении пандемии коронавируса и конструктивность в вопросах развития сотрудничества.

 

Государственное информационное агентство Туркменистана

World Bank Pledges $80 Million to Support Georgia’s Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Published in Economics
Thursday, 30 April 2020 11:24

The World Bank will provide a $80 million financial support package to Georgia to help the Government’s efforts to mitigate and address the health and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The support is provided under the World Bank’s Fast Track Covid19 Facility (FTCF). The World Bank is also collaborating with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to provide an additional $100 million under a joint co-finance arrangement.

The objective is to finance measures that help prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and provide immediate social protection support to the most vulnerable. It is expected to benefit the population at large, and in particular, the infected people and at-risk populations such as the elderly and people with chronic conditions, as well as medical and emergency personnel. Health-related emergency COVID-19 response measures include case detection and confirmation, increased testing, as well as health system strengthening for case management.

In addition, the project will provide income support to the poor and vulnerable households by scaling-up of the Targeted Social Assistance program and providing temporary cash transfers to workers who lost jobs due to the pandemic.

“Through our rapid support we are helping save lives and protect the livelihoods of those impacted by the pandemic during this challenging time," said Sebastian Molineus, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus. “We estimate that the total WBG financing package for Georgia COVID-19 response will be approximately $200 milion in new financing, in addition to the approximately $300 million funds in our pipeline for 2020-2021 for projects in support of broader development needs, such as digital connectivity and infrastructure”.

“I would especially like to note that our partners have been actively involved in the negotiations with the Government of Georgia since the very first days of the pandemic. Once again, I would like to thank them for that tremendous support,”- said Ivane Matchavariani, Minister of Finance of Georgia. “Furthermore, I would like to emphasize the role of the World Bank in the preparation of this program, as well as in the development of our country in general”.

This project is a part of World Bank’s broader support for the people of Georgia, and it is the first in the series of three lending operations to be rolled-out over the coming three months. The second upcoming operation will come in the form of additional financing to the existing Economic Management and Competitiveness Development Policy Operation (approved by World Bank's Board of Executive Directors on March 26, 2020), aiming to help the government cover the unanticipated financing gap and ensure Georgia’s progress in implementing reforms in areas critical for inclusive economic growth. The third is the upcoming Relief and Recovery for MSMEs and Jobs project, which intends to support the jobs agenda as well as micro, small and medium-sized enterprises that have been affected by the pandemic.

D. Zalkaliani expresses his gratitude towards the Republic of Korea for the support provided within the framework of the fight against the pandemic

Published in World
Wednesday, 29 April 2020 17:12

The Georgian Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani, expresses his gratitude towards the Republic of Korea for the timely support provided in terms of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to his statement, the Republic of Korea became an exemplary case in the fight against the pandemic from the very early stages of the outbreak of the virus.

With joint efforts of Georgian Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs, The Georgian Foreign Ministry and the Georgian Embassy to the Republic of Korea active cooperation takes place with our Korean Counterparts. Thus, with the support of the Korean Government, towards the end of April a Korean company, SD Biosensor, Inc. will begin to export rapid-detection tests for the COVID-19 virus to Georgia.

How Ukraine’s Volunteers and Businesses Are Rescuing the Nation from COVID-19

Published in World
Tuesday, 28 April 2020 16:39

The global coronavirus pandemic is a daunting challenge for Ukraine, which has been trying to reform its healthcare system. Its civil society, volunteers and private business have stepped up as usual. UkraineWorld looked into how they are uniting their efforts against the spread of COVID-19 and supporting the country’s most vulnerable.

As Euromaidan and Russia's war against Ukraine have shown, Ukrainians know how to take on imposing adversaries, though this time the enemy is invisible. While the government is expecting humanitarian assistance from China and financial help from international funds, the country's people are doing their part. Since the start of the quarantine on 17 March, numerous private and public initiatives have sprung into action to help the country's healthcare workers, elderly people and those with disabilities.

As of the end of March, Ukrainian hospitals, together with clinics being repurposed into treatment centers, have had less than 4,000 ventilators in Ukraine, according to Ukraine's Chief Sanitary Doctor, Dr. Viktor Liashko.

The urgent need for ventilators and basic protection for medical staff has prompted the private sector to come to the rescue of the country's healthcare system.

Ukraine's top private postal service, Nova Poshta, was one of the first companies to act. The company donated 25 million hryvnias (899 425 USD) to equip hospitals in Poltava Region"Business in our country has never had ideal circumstances," the co-owner of Nova Poshta, Volodymyr Popreshniuk, stated, "But now it's about survival and saving jobs." The founders urged other businessmen to join, and many have. FC Vorskla and the mining company Ferrexpo have agreed to help financially.

Corporate charitable and social actions have become a rescue force in cities across Ukraine. In Lviv, Ukraine's tourist gem of the west, one of the biggest IT companies, SoftServe, directed 10 million hryvnias to hospitals for medicines, equipment and everything necessary in cities which host its offices. Other industry peers have followed their example, including Intellias, which created a special team to track the pandemic situation in Ukraine and pledged to buy coronavirus 10 000 test kits.

At the national level, banks, large businessmen and even oligarchs have joined the fight against the virus. PrivatBank and the founder of Monobank have raised and sent money to buy ventilators for hospitals. Many have started to provide free consultations, free online courses and discounts to ease life for those who have to work or those who are helping the situation by staying home.

In Odesa, a volunteering group called Monsters Corporation is helping local hospitals alongside business and philanthropists. The head of the organization, Kateryna Nozhevnikova, regularly reports on the situation on her Facebook. Volunteers have already supplied thousands of pieces of protective gear and basic sanitary items, and started to help the elderly people who are most at risk.

"In Odesa, there are 5 500 pensioners in need of special care. And there is no way they can leave their houses," posted Yulia Kanazirska, the coordinator of the project Kind Dinner. The anti-crisis centre in Odesa Region, Odesa vs. COVID, mobilised local businesses to supply those most vulnerable with groceries and everyday needs. This is also the main mission of organizations like Starenki [Elderly -ed.], Lifelover, the Sant'Egidio community and Help a Homeless Person.

Different groups of volunteers are also trying to counter the shortage of face masks by sewing them. Some of the initiatives started to help supply Ukrainian soldiers with clothes and equipment in the frontline in 2014 are now raising money for protective gear and ventilators, as well as sewing face masks to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

While dozens of NGOs and newly-emerged initiatives such as Solidarnist have been making every effort to counter the spread of the infectious disease, local governments around Ukraine were forced to respond to the challenge of the coronavirus.

Kyiv alone has more than 12 000 elderly people living by themselves to take care of. The mayor of Kyiv, Vitaliy Klychko, said the city has organized the delivery of groceries, medicines and hygienic necessities for lonely pensioners.

Similar steps have been taken in other regions. For instance, in Rivne Region, the administrative council decided to provide people with disabilities as well as the elderly with all they need to prevent them from coming into contact with other people. Ukraine has also tried to involve its state enterprises. The postal service UkrPoshta and Liki24.com have launched free delivery of medicines to Ukraine's remote villages and towns for the period of quarantine.

Once the quarantine began, public transport was severely limited and soon suspended due to the emergency situation. For this reason, Lviv city council even made an agreement with car services Uklon, Bolt, and Uber to provide free rides for healthcare workers at hospitals that treat patients with the coronavirus. At the end of March, Kyiv Uber Shuttle transformed into Shuttle Heroes, and is providing healthcare workers with free trips with promotional codes distributed through healthcare administrations and the state online service.

Even before the formal measures, Ukrainian car drivers had started to offer free rides for healthcare workers since the start of quarantine measures.

In Kyiv, Chernivtsi, Lviv, Rivne and other regions, they instantly created messenger channels and Facebook groups to help medical personnel get to their workplaces. Andriy Didun, a local businessman from Uzhhorod (Zakarpattia Region), was the first to take this initiative when the public transport was suspended in Uzhhorod. Today, "Pick up a Medic" (or "Help a Medic") is a common act of solidarity across Ukraine that helps healthcare workers to do their jobs.

Despite the coming financial calamity, small businesses have not stood on the sidelines. Together with other entrepreneurs, Didun, who sells mobile phone accessories, managed to raise money and buy necessary protective gear and basic things for infectious disease departments and hospitals.

"The infectious clinics had nothing -- neither gloves, nor masks, nor special clothes," he shared with UkraineWorld. He found the situation with protective clothing difficult because there was a lot of speculatory purchasing on the Internet. "This gear protects against chemicals, not viruses. But we can use it if there are no other options. I have friends in regional hospitals, and the situation is catastrophic there," Didun added.

The personal urge to help is where corporate solidarity started. Khrystyna Zhuk from Lviv decided to hang an announcement in her neighborhood. "I wrote that I could go to the grocery store or the pharmacy, that I would walk dogs and cats for people in high-risk groups, pregnant women, or those suffering from coronary artery disease." Not many asked for her help. "Since the situation is not critical yet," Zhuk assumes, "probably not many people are taking it seriously".

Nevertheless, as the head of the marketing department of La Piec pizzeria, Zhuk started her company's free pizza deliveries to infectious disease clinics and emergency hospitals in Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Vinnytsia. "When I saw that they were delivering pizza to doctors for free in Italy, I thought it was a brilliant idea!" she recalled to UkraineWorld. "And that's what we're doing now".

IRYNA MATVIYISHYN
Analyst and journalist at UkraineWorld and Internews Ukraine

 

 

 

 

 

 

EU supports bilingual campaign to inform local population on COVID-19

Published in Economics
Monday, 27 April 2020 10:44

The EU-supported Akhalkalki Local Action Group (LAG) in Georgia recently started a bilingual online campaign to raise awareness among the non-Georgian speaking population about the COVID-19 outbreak. The aim of the campaign is to inform non-Georgian speakers about the current state of emergency and the health protection measures available.

LAG has disseminated over 10 videos in both Georgian and Armenian through social media. In addition, over 15 bilingual posters have been circulated, containing information from the World Health Organization, the National Centre of Disease Control and Prevention, and the Georgian Government.

Locals are systematically informed about the lockdown and self-isolation rules, protocols for going out, healthcare measures and focal contact points.

The campaign is part of the project ‘Promoting a new rural development approach in Akhalkalaki’. It is implemented under the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD).

Declaration by the Committee of Ministers on the COVID-19 pandemic

Published in World
Thursday, 23 April 2020 14:56

David ZalkalianiPresident of the Committee of Ministers and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Georgia, has expressed his satisfaction following the Committee of Ministers’ adoption of a Declaration on the COVID-19 pandemic.

"During this very difficult time we are living through, I am pleased that the 47 member States of the Council of Europe have agreed on the need to continue to co-operate to fight the pandemic together, without ever losing sight of the Organisation's values and standards," he said.

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, in which all of its 47 member States are represented, expresses its deep sadness at the suffering and bereavement caused in Europe and elsewhere in the world by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It expresses its profound gratitude to all those who, at the risk of their own health, are fighting to overcome this terrible disease and bring relief and care for those who are seriously ill. It also expresses its deep gratitude to all those who continue to work in order to ensure that people’s basic material needs can be met.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the worst health crisis since the Organisation was founded in 1949, and authorities at all levels must do their utmost to protect people's health in all circumstances, including the most vulnerable members of our societies.

The challenge we face today is unprecedented. The Committee of Ministers recalls its deep and constant attachment to its core values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, as expressed in the Statute of the Council of Europe and the European Convention on Human Rights. It also recalls that measures to combat the disease and its wider consequences must be taken in accordance with the Organisation's principles and the commitments entered into by member States. The Secretary General’s information document on “Respecting democracy, rule of law and human rights in the framework of the Covid-19 sanitary crisis: a toolkit for member States” provides useful guidance in this respect.

The Committee of Ministers considers that solidarity and co-operation between States is essential to deal effectively with the pandemic, and underlines that the Council of Europe, including its Development Bank, will continue to make every effort to assist its member States during this crisis and its aftermath.

Visa informed banks of the mechanism to process transactions with expired cards

Published in Economics
Wednesday, 22 April 2020 12:21

Tbilisi, Georgia – 22 April 2020 — Visa provided guidance to merchants, issuers and acquirers for operations with expired cards during COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that all Visa cardholders in Georgia can use their cards for payments without interruptions.

During this period, Visa encourages issuers not to decline transactions on cards with expired date and check that their host is configured to accept transactions from expired cards.

If the issuer host is available, issuers should make decisions on the transaction depending on host setup, available funds and account standing. Additionally, if the issuer host is unavailable, on an issuer’s approved instructions, Visa may make changes to the settings to disable validation of the card expiration date.

Visa cardholders with expired cards should contact their issuing banks to check on the operations with their cards. 

“Recognizing the challenges banks may experience with reissuing and delivering cards to their cardholders during pandemic, Visa reminded our client-banks in Georgia of the authorization requirements should a cardholder present an expired card. As Visa we can and will support transactions even with expired date to help our client-banks manage the cards logistics and Visa cardholders pay with Visa - securely and conveniently as usual. We recommend banks to check the configuration on their side and are ready to work with all our client-banks to support the mechanism of processing transactions with expired cards”, said Cristina Doros, Visa’s country manager for the Caucasus region. 

 

# # #

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere.  As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa, www.visasoutheasteurope.com, https://www.facebook.com/VisaGeorgiaGE

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