European Union Ambassador Carl Hartzell has congratulated the people of Georgia on Independence Day, saying that the EU remains unwavering in its support of Georgia’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
He added that in these difficult times, the EU stands in solidarity not only with Ukraine, but also with Georgia, and “cherishes the deep bonds that exist between us. Bonds that we wish to see growing stronger.”
Hartzell also reminded that on 3 March, the Government of Georgia applied for EU membership, “which reflects the aspirations of an overwhelming majority of its population”.
“Georgia has made a choice founded on its historical values. Now is the moment for Georgia to act decisively to demonstrate its determination on this European path,” said Hartzell.
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Today, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili submitted the second part of the European Commission's questionnaire - completed by the country before the set deadline-to Carl Hartzell, Head of the EU Delegation to Georgia, at the Government Administration.
"It is my pleasure to deliver to you our questionnaire answers. We have completed filling it, a total of 7 volumes. We are happy to hand it over to you, and we are looking forward to the European Commission's and member states' decisions," the Prime Minister said.
The Ambassador thanked the Prime Minister and emphasized that the questionnaire will be very helpful to the European Commission in delivering its opinion.
"Mister Prime Minister, I am grateful for being here to receive the result of your and many other people's hard work invested in the completion of the questionnaire's second and final part. It will be of tremendous help to the European Commission in delivering its opinion," Carl Hartzell stated.
The second, sectoral part of the European Commission's questionnaire incorporates 33 chapters and up to 2,300 questions, with May 13 previously set as the deadline by the EU. To complete the larger part of the questionnaire effectively and within maximally tight deadlines, all relevant institutions were engaged, and the process proper was personally supervised by the Head of Government.
As the Prime Minister pointed out, Georgia's European choice is a decision with no alternative, the Georgian people's and not just the Government's choice.
The completed part one of the questionnaire was submitted by the Head of Georgian Government to the EU Ambassador on May 2, at the Administration of the Government. After the submission of the second part of the questionnaire, the European Commission will start developing its opinion report to be subsequently referred to the Council of the European Union, with the latter expected to make a relevant decision at the end of June.
Press Service of the Government Administration
The European Union is standing by Georgia, in support of building a strong, prosperous and democratic country, during times of COVID and other crises, and with unwavering support for Georgia’s independence and territorial integrity, EU Ambassador Carl Hartzell said in a statement to mark Europe Day on 9 May, in a year that has seen Georgia apply for membership of the European Union.
He said Europe Day was a celebration of a new vision for Europe, presented 72 years ago in the Schuman Declaration, “at a time when Europe was still rising from the ashes of a devastating war, determined to make sure there would be no more wars in Europe”.
“While we remain faithful to that vision, unfortunately, others blatantly and tragically demonstrate that they still see things differently. But as Russia is waging its unjustified war in Europe, we are standing up in strong solidarity with Ukraine, based on the values and principles that unite us and on which our Union was built.”
“Here in Georgia, our close partnership is based on these same values,” the Ambassador said. “A partnership that is set to grow further as Georgia took the historic step to apply for EU membership, in line with the aspirations of an overwhelming majority of its population and in coping with its civilisational roots.”
Activities to mark Europe Day in Georgia this year are centred around a new film called Europe and me, directed by Giorgi Kvelidze. It highlights the shared values between the EU and Georgia and shows several human stories from Georgia’s region.
The online premiere of the documentary film that has been produced for 2022 Europe Day will be held tonight, 9 May at 21:00 on the Delegation Facebook page.
Source: EU NEIGHBOURS east
Energy-efficiency modernisations in public buildings improve learning environments and support the energy transition in GeorgiaWednesday, 04 May 2022 14:25
The celebration of Nefco’s first implemented energy-efficiency project in Georgia coincides with the signing of a new EUR 6.5 million project which will support energy-efficiency modernisations in public schools in remote mountainous regions in the country.
Nefco has officially inaugurated its first implemented project in Georgia, which encompasses the renovation of 26 public buildings across the country. The energy-efficiency modernisations carried out from autumn 2018 until the end of 2021 have resulted in improved indoor conditions and energy savings, and supported Georgia towards its green transition by using renewable and alternative energy sources. The project has also contributed to the implementation of Georgia’s national goals to combat climate change and demonstrated the applicability of new building codes in various types of buildings with different functions and usage and how these new codes work in different climate zones.
In addition to Nefco loan financing of EUR 2.8 million, the project was grant financed by the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) with EUR 1.87 million, to which the European Union and Sweden are the largest contributors. Denmark supported the project with EUR 956,000 for technical assistance during both the implementation and project preparation phases.
Together with its project partners, including the Ministry of Finance of Georgia, the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, E5P and its contributors, and the LEPL Municipal Development Fund of Georgia, Nefco inaugurated the project on 4 May 2022 and visited two of the modernised schools, Public School No. 55 and LEPL First Experimental Public School in Tbilisi, to present the implemented energy-efficiency measures.
“We are very pleased to celebrate our first implemented project in Georgia. Together with our project partners, it has been a privilege to see the country’s progress in implementing its energy reforms and moving towards a green energy transition. We are happy to continue supporting Georgia through the new project, which was signed today and will benefit, in particular, the more vulnerable communities,” commented Trond Moe, Managing Director at Nefco, in Tbilisi today.
Both the implemented project and the newly signed project ‘Rehabilitation and Energy Efficiency Improvements in Public Schools in Mountainous Regions in Georgia’ are characterised by their significant environmental and social impacts in Georgia. The implemented energy-efficiency project is expected to result in annual reductions of about 5,000 MWh in heat and electricity consumption, with a decrease of 1,100 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The actual savings will be monitored on a continuous basis for a ten-year period. The implemented project has created good and comfortable learning environments for schoolchildren and municipal workers. The second Nefco project in Georgia will support energy-efficiency modernisations and renovations in 15 public schoolsin mountainous regions in Georgia.
“First of all, I would like to say that we appreciate Nefco’s and E5P’s role in helping Georgia overcome the challenges we are facing and for ensuring that they are responsive to our priority needs. The project ‘Rehabilitation and Energy-efficiency Improvement in Public Schools in Mountainous Regions in Georgia’ is supporting Georgia’s transition to a green economy and helping to build more resilient and efficient infrastructure, while improving the learning environment for students in less-developed parts of our country and benefiting vulnerable social groups of the population. I believe that the project will have significant environmental and social impacts and bring many benefits, such as meeting the minimum requirements for appropriate infrastructure for teaching and improved comfort levels and safety for students and teachers. I am confident that this will be a catalyst for greater energy efficiency in the future,” said Lasha Khutsishvili, Minister of Finance of Georgia.
Nefco’s second project in Georgia will build on the lessons learned from the first completed project and be expanded into more challenging settings in less-developed parts of the country, benefiting vulnerable social groups of the population. Alongside the positive environmental impacts and energy-efficiency improvements, the new project will support the development of other UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially education, health and gender equality. Both Nefco projects are aligned with the new laws on energy efficiency and energy performance of buildings introduced by Georgia and are part of the wider reform agenda associated with the EU Georgia Association Agreement.
“The E5P donors are proud of this first Nefco project and its continuation in remote mountainous regions of Georgia. The E5P donors, led by the European Union, remain committed to such crucial investments, delivering a multitude of environmental and social benefits alongside the reform agenda,” commented Ewa Manik, Associate Director at E5P.
“The EU, the biggest contributor to the E5P Fund, is pleased to support energy-efficiency renovations of schools in Georgia. The E5P projects implemented by Nefco bring the economic, environmental and health benefits of energy-efficiency measures to municipalities across the country. We are looking forward to boosting renovations of buildings in Georgia with large-scale investment programmes underpinned by reform assistance together with our Team Europe partners,” said Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia.
The total investment of the new project, signed today in Tbilisi, is EUR 6.5 million. Nefco’s loan financing totals EUR 3.9 million and E5P grant financing EUR 2.6 million. Sweden has financed the project development costs and is expected to allocate financing for technical assistance during the project implementation, which is due to start at the end of 2022.
“Sweden is pleased to contribute to Georgia’s green transition, including improved energy efficiency. We have invested over EUR 8 million in the E5P fund for Georgia, as the largest bilateral donor. Similarly, we are one of the main stakeholders in Nefco, the Nordic Green Bank, together with the other Nordic countries. Together, we provide co-financing grants for municipal sector projects across Georgia to improve energy efficiency and boost progress on a multitude of other environmental and social issues. The Swedish assistance should be seen in the wider context of our strong political, financial and technical support to Georgia’s reforms for European integration,” said Ulrik Tideström, Ambassador of Sweden to Georgia.
Energy-efficiency measures in the new project will include insulation of building envelopes, replacement of doors and windows, installation of new heating and ventilation systems as well as measures for reducing electricity consumption. Structural improvements are also included in the projects due to the poor conditions of the school buildings. The implemented renovations and installed energy-efficiency measures will extend the lifetime of the buildings.
Since 2010, Nefco has financed over 170 similar energy-efficiency modernisation projects in public buildings in Ukraine, and it is currently implementing its initial projects in Moldova, the first of which was completed in autumn 2021. Together with E5P, Nefco has completed 36 energy-efficiency projects in Eastern Europe.
Nefco, the Nordic Green Bank, is an international financial institution (IFI) that provides risk capital for Nordic green solutions. Established in 1990 by the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, Nefco serves the interest of its owners. Our task is to work with concrete actions to accelerate the green transition. By focusing on small and medium-sized projects with tangible results, we have been able to demonstrate how to implement climate and environmental projects in a sustainable and cost-efficient way. We evaluate our impact against the EU Taxonomy, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and our own environmental criteria. Over the years, Nefco has implemented some 1,500 private and public projects across different sectors all over the world. Nefco’s headquarters is located in Helsinki, Finland. Read more at www.nefco.int
The Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) is a multi-donor and multi-International Financial Institution (IFI) support fund created thanks to an initiative of the Swedish Presidency of the European Union in 2009. The E5P fund for Georgia totals EUR 40.56 million, representing pledges made by the European Union as the largest contributor to the fund (EUR 20.4 million), and Sweden (EUR 8 million), Germany (EUR 4 million), Norway (EUR 3 million), Denmark (EUR 0.5 million), Finland (EUR 0.4 million), Lithuania (EUR 0.35 million), USA (EUR 0.3 million), Estonia (EUR 0.15 million), Poland (EUR 0.13 million), Czech Republic (EUR 0.1 million), Slovak Republic (EUR 0.1 million) and TaiwanBusiness EBRD TC Fund (EUR 0.13 million). Georgia is also a contributor with EUR 3 million. The fund provides grant co-financing for municipal sector projects to improve energy efficiency and boost a multitude of other environmental and social impacts, especially in the wider context of the reform agenda associated with the EU Georgia Association Agreement. Read more at www.e5p.eu/georgia
EU Ambassador Carl Hartzell awarded the winners in six categories covering print, broadcast, online, and photo journalism. Ambassador Marek Szczygieł, Head of the European Union Monitoring Mission awarded the winner of the Special Prize for conflict-sensitive journalism contributing to confidence building and peace.
Ambassador Carl Hartzell emphasized the importance of the EU Prize: “The 10th anniversary of the EU Journalism Prize is taking place against the backdrop of war in Europe. An unprovoked and unjustified war waged by Russia against Ukraine.
While we are in no mood for celebration this year, our desire to pay tribute to professional, honest and courageous media is stronger than ever.
This year we mark the 3rd of May Press Freedom Day as Ukrainian journalists sacrifice their lives to share the truth about Russia’s barbaric actions. And as Russia has further restrained its press freedom and is feeding its population with disinformation and propaganda.
The purpose of the EU Prize for Journalism has probably never been more relevant than now, as we have stronger reasons than ever to value those who serve the truth with strong ethics and professionalism.
In support of this objective, I am proud to launch the 11th edition of the EU Journalism Prize today. As always, we hope that this Prize will serve to recognise and inspire experienced journalists as well as to attract newcomers to this very important profession.”
Ambassador Marek Szczygieł, Head of the European Union Monitoring Mission: “The EUMM Special Prize for Peace Journalism is more relevant than ever in light of the ongoing Russian aggression on Ukraine. This is a tragic reminder that peace in Europe cannot be taken for granted. With their conflict-sensitive reporting, journalists can contribute to confidence-building and conflict-resolution. With our annual EUMM Peace Prize, we celebrate journalists who, with their stories, improve the prospects for peace in Georgia and the wider region”.
The winners and finalists of the EU Prize for Journalism 2021 are:
A: Best story in print or online media
Winner: Tamar Babuadze (Indigo)
Honourable mentions: Nino Lomadze, Maradia Tsaava
B: Best feature story in broadcast or online media
Winner: Anastasia Slovinskaia (Radio Liberty)
Honourable mentions: Gvantsa Nadibaidze, Ana Maskharashvili
C: Best investigative story in print, online, or broadcast media
Winner: Zurab Modebadze (Liberty Monitor)
Honourable mentions: Tskriala Shermadini, Nino Ramishvili
D: Best online or print blog, opinion or column in print, online or broadcast media
Winner: Khatia Ghoghoberidze (On.ge)
Honourable mentions: Kamran Mamedli, Tea Topuria
E: The most innovative and original piece of work in print, broadcast or online media
Winner: Tinatin Nachkebia (Indigo)
Honourable mentions: Nata Tabidze, Ketevan Tutberidze
F: Best documentary photo reflecting EU values
Winner: Giorgi Shengelia (Indigo)
Honourable mentions: Sophio Mdivnishvili, Saba Gorgodze
G: Best conflict-sensitive journalistic work (EUMM special prize)
Winner: Zviad Mchedlishvili (newscaucasus.com)
Honourable mentions: Oktiabrina Tsikoridze, Suliko Tsitsikashvili, Mariam Jatchvadze.
The winners of the first six categories will receive a cash prize of approximately 6 000 GEL each, while the winner of the EUMM Special Prize will receive a one-month fellowship at the Institute of War and Peace Reporting in London.
The winning works can be found at www.euprizejournalism.eu
About the EU Prize for Journalism 2021:
155 journalists and photographers, who published their works in the online, broadcast and print media between 15 December, 2020 and 30 November, 2021, submitted them for the EU Prize for Journalism 2021.
All entries were reviewed and assessed by a four-member jury, composed of local and international media professionals:
- Natia Abramia- Manager of Quality Control and Risk Management for the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC. She has 20 years of experience working in Georgian and international media. At various times, since 2006, she has been the Editor of the BBC World News Radio, TV, Online and Social Platforms. After the announcement of the Brexit referendum in 2016, Natia Abramia was the producer of the BBC’s main political show – “Newsnight”. Currently, her job is to optimize the operations and resources of BBC and to increase management efficiency.
- Nana Sajaia- is an award-winning journalist and producer with a focus on the Post-Soviet region. A native of Georgia, currently she is a producer at the Fox News politics unit in the D.C Bureau. Nana has previously worked as an International Broadcaster at the Voice of America Georgian Service, where she covered Georgia and Eurasia-related topics for different media platforms in Georgian and English languages. She has extensively reported on major regional political developments, elections in Georgia and Ukraine, Russia’s occupation of Georgian territories, U.S.-Georgia relations, Eastern European partnership, NATO enlargement, and Kremlin disinformation in the Caucasus and Eurasia. Nana received a BA in English language from Tbilisi State University, and an MA in journalism and media management from Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA). In 2007 she was selected as a Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellow and did her Master’s studies in Journalism and Mass Communication at North Dakota State University. Nana has been practicing journalism for more than ten years now, served as an editor of local publications such as Georgia Today and weekly political magazine Liberali, and has worked for international media outlets in the region such as BBC World Service, France 24, and TOL. Before joining Fox News, Nana was a researcher at PEN American Center – a worldwide association of writers, defending freedom of expression and supporting persecuted writers.
- Lia Chakhunashvili- Over the past 20 years, Lia Chakhunashvili has managed several major media development programs in Georgia, when working at IREX and at BBC World Service Trust. She studied journalism at Tbilisi State University and earned a graduate degree in mass communications at San Jose State University. In 2007-2009, Lia Chakhunashvili was Dean at Caucasus School of Media, Caucasus University, and in 2010-2011 she was a member of the Public Broadcaster Board of Trustees.
- Guram Tsibakhashvili - A photographer. Has been delivering lectures in photography since 1991. Has participated in up to 60 exhibitions, including up to 20 personal ones. Has published articles on photography and contemporary art. Photo Editor of the Magazine “Amarta” since 1999 - 2007. Co-founder of "Tbilisi Photography House" since 2007. Invited Lecturer on the History of Photography at two Georgian universities (Tbilisi State University, Caucasus University).
More information is available at www.euprizejournalism.ge
Today, at the Government Administration, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili submitted the EU questionnaire's completed part one to Carl Hartzell.
"I am honored to submit to you our answers to the European Commission's questionnaire, to prepare an opinion on Georgia's EU membership bid," the Prime Minister said.
The EU Ambassador wished success to Georgia and emphasized that it is a great honor to be part of this milestone process.
"I would like to express my deep gratitude and underline that it is a great honor to be part of this momentous event and stand by you down this path to your civilizational choice," Carl Hartzell said.
According to the Head of Government, the Government of Georgia, all relevant institutions, continues working intensively on filling the questionnaire's second, sectoral part comprising 33 chapters and up to 2,300 questions. The Georgian Government wants to submit part two of the questionnaire to the EU earlier than expected, with the institutions poised to spare no effort to that end, Irakli Garibashvili added.
After accepting the completed questionnaire, the European Commission will set out to prepare its assessment, to be subsequently referred to the Council of the European Union, which is expected to make a relevant decision in late June.
Press Service of the Government Administration
The EU and Germany support decentralized governance, social cohesion and inclusive economic growth in Georgia’s regions through partnerships with the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, GIZ and UNDP
TBILISI. 22 March 2022 –The European Union (EU) joins hands with the German Government to kick off a national programme supporting sustainable and inclusive growth, balanced territorial development and good governance in Georgia’s regions. The EUR9.5 million ‘Integrated Territorial Development’ (EU4ITD) programme, running from 2022 to 2025, is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in close partnership with the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure and local authorities.
Drawing on EUR8.5 million from the European Union and EUR1 million from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the initiative serves to overcome regional disparities and achieve social cohesion by combining territorial development measures, such as urban renewal, with actions promoting economic development and social inclusion. The programme covers the four regions of Guria, Imereti, Kakheti and Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti.
GIZ, with EUR7.5 million, will support local economic development, assisting municipalities, businesses, and citizens to realise the untapped economic and social potential in the focus regions.
UNDP will use EUR2 million to promote decentralisation and good governance and establish institutional development frameworks for decentralized regional policy.
“The Georgian Government has embarked on an ambitious goal to design and implement a new framework for regional and local development in line with EU standards. This opens a new chapter in our joint efforts to overcome social and territorial disparities in Georgia, foster economic development and create equal opportunities for all citizens through inclusive, smart and sustainable socio-economic means,” said Mzia Giorgobiani, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure.
“Integrated territorial development is key to urban and rural transformation and to reducing socioeconomic disparities between regions and communities. It helps coordinate regional and local development, including its environmental, social and economic dimensions, and strengthen local democracy through inclusive participation. The EU is very happy to assist Georgia to introduce and explore this modern approach and shape lasting solutions to the complex challenges faced by the country’s regions”, said Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia Carl Hartzell.
“We are excited to partner with the EU in support of integrated territorial development in the pilot regions” said Hubert Knirsch, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Georgia. “This project will combine urban renewal initiatives with tourism development measures based on the cultural and natural heritage to be found in the regions and assistance to local small and medium-sized enterprises – thus enabling them to bring their products to Georgian and, I hope, international markets”.
“Too often development initiatives are overly programmatic, with the resulting concentration on particular sectors and a “one size fits all” approach leading to opportunities and nuances being missed. EU4ITD is novel in that it consciously seeks a different path – firstly, to be holistic and address the social, economic and environmental, and secondly to follow a “place-based” approach, thereby taking account of the particularities of individual regions and municipalities. These issues lie close to GIZ’s heart, and the organization is therefore institutionally invested in EU4ITD bringing about meaningful change,” said GIZ Programme Director Christoph Beier.
“Regardless of where they live, people strive for a prosperous and livable environment shaped around the principles of inclusion, sustainability and good governance. Through our partnership with the European Union, we can provide Georgia’s regions with the assistance they need to achieve these goals, create new opportunities for local communities, improve livelihoods and reduce rural poverty,” said UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia Nick Beresford.
The EU4ITD initiative contributes to and supports the implementation of the Pilot Integrated Regional Development Programme (PIRDP), the national programme developed by the Georgian Government to advance regional development and decentralization reform and to achieve the goals outlined in the 2020-2025 Decentralisation Strategy. PIRDP financing comprises over EUR54 million from the EU and a further EUR10 million from the national budget.
EU does not recognise constitutional and legal framework of so-called parliamentary elections in AbkhaziaTuesday, 15 March 2022 17:26
The European Union does not recognise the constitutional and legal framework of the so-called parliamentary elections that took place in the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia on 12 March 2022, EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell has said.
Hartzell reminded that the European Union supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia, as recognised by international law.
“The EU will continue to pursue its policy of non-recognition and engagement. The EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia remains fully mobilised in this regard,” said Hartzell.
10 public schools, 7 kindergartens, 4 public buildings have been renovated with the EU’s support to provide a greener and healthier environment to the citizens of Georgia. In addition, businesses have been supported to introduce energy efficiency measures, thus lowering operation costs and investing the savings in new opportunities and jobs. These are only some of the results of EU’s work to improve energy efficiency in Georgia.
To raise awareness about the benefits of energy efficiency and EU’s work to this end in the country, the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia is launching an information campaign on energy efficiency under the slogan “Doing More with Less”.
“Energy efficiency in Georgia is a key priority for the European Union. A greener environment, enhanced energy security, more jobs, prosperous families and warmer houses are only some of the benefits of improved energy efficiency. Besides supporting the legislative reform process, we have made continued efforts to help businesses and citizens. Reliable and affordable energy is essential for communities and household, and our goal is to continue supporting energy efficiency initiatives to help improve people’s lives”, - stated Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia.
Energy efficiency matters. It has the potential to contribute to lowering the costs on a household and economy-wide level, boost economic growth, sustainable growth and job creation. Apart from that, energy efficiency is one of the ways to reduce demand for energy imports and to strengthen the country’s energy independence.
The EU has been assisting Georgia’s energy sector for over a decade. This includes support to the Government to promote better policy and help modernize the sector, work with partners to support and raise energy efficiency initiatives throughout the country. By encouraging private sector participation, the EU also supports the government’s ultimate objectives of creating jobs and improving the quality of life. Clean energy transition will be at the center of reforms to accelerate the development of modern and reliable energy infrastructure that will decrease use of greenhouse gas emissions.
Over the course of the next three weeks, we will share success stories of projects implemented with the EU’s support in Georgia. The campaign will promote the benefits of energy efficiency, showcase the projects that impact the communities and environment they live in and motivates change.
For more information, please visit our Campaign Page
The WHO and the European Union handed over 180 oxygen concentrators, 2 000 pulse oximeters and other medical equipment to the Ministry of IDPs from Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia. The equipment will be used to outfit rural medical facilities to help citizens all over the country have better access to healthcare.
The concentrators and oximeters were symbolically handed over today to the Ministry of IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia today, by Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia and Silviu Domente, WHO Representative and Head of Country Office in Georgia.
Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia stated, “While handover ceremonies may have become routine, there is nothing routine about people struggling to breathe or not having access to proper healthcare. Together with our partners in the WHO and the Government of Georgia, we continue working to make sure that citizens all over Georgia receive improved access to healthcare and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with the rest of Team Europe, we remain committed to stand by Georgia during this difficult time.”
"We have been living with the coronavirus pandemic for two years now, and WHO thanks the EU for its constant and steady support throughout. Together, we have delivered critical supplies, trained healthcare workers, provided health guidance and tackled misinformation. The challenge ahead of us now is to strengthen the health system - particularly primary health care - so that everyone can access services regardless of where they live." – says Silviu Domente, WHO Representative and Head of Country Office in Georgia.
The supplies were purchased through a large-scale EU-UN action to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, by bolstering rural healthcare facilities. At a later stage, the initiative will also provide village ambulatory units with telemedicine equipment to improve access to health care.
The donation is a part of broader assistance from the European Union and WHO, to support Georgia's response to COVID-19. So far, this has included a provision of vital medical equipment, technical expertise and training of health care workers.
In the long-term, the EU and UN support under this project will help build a more resilient primary health care system with telemedicine capacities increasing equitable access to healthcare services accelerating Georgia’s progress towards Universal Health Coverage.