USAID and the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs join forces to combat disinformation and help Georgia build a stronger democracyFriday, 14 August 2020 15:22
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.
The U.S. Government is proud to announce an additional $600,000 in emergency health assistance to support Georgia's response to COVID-19
The U.S. Government is proud to announce an additional $600,000 in emergency health assistance to support Georgia's response to COVID-19. With this new assistance, the U.S. Government, through USAID, has committed $1.7 million in emergency health assistance to support Georgia’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to help the individuals and communities who are most at risk.
The $1.7 million in emergency health assistance from USAID will help control and prevent infection and identify cases of the virus. It will include technical assistance to improve Georgia’s response and preparedness for controlling the outbreak, and for communicating information about the emergency.
The new assistance is part of a whole-of-government approach by the U.S. Government. It comes in addition to other health sector assistance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), USAID support for Georgia's economic recovery and effective provision of public services, and the nearly $140 million the U.S. has invested over the past 20 years in helping Georgia build a capable, resilient, and professional national healthcare system.
We are proud to partner with the Government of Georgia, local health professionals and civil society organizations, and international organizations to help people stay healthy and stay safe.
On May 28, 2017 Lia Gigauri, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Nino Buachidze, USAID representatives and Marina Ushveridze, Chief of Party of “Momavlis Taoba” program welcomed participants of Civics Teachers’ National Fair-Conference at the Tbilisi Exhibition Center.
The Civics Teachers’ National Fair-Conference brought together 250 civics teachers from all regions of Georgia to discuss innovations in the field of civics education, share experiences, and participate in professional development. Awards for the best civics teachers of the year were given to civics teachers at an award ceremony during the conference.
National Fair-Conference of Civics Teachers was held in the framework of USAID-funded Momavlis Taoba Project, which is implemented by PH International.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry hosted a meeting of the People-to-People and Cultural Exchange Working Group of the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission, which considers the issues relating to co-operation in the areas of public relations, education, sport, cultural exchanges, internally displaced persons and healthcare.
Following the meeting, First Deputy Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani and USAID Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia Thomas Melia made comments on the results of the meeting. The First Deputy Foreign Minister paid special attention to the implementation of the agreements which were signed within the framework of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Georgia
“On 6 July 2016, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvrikashvili and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry signed the Georgia-US Memorandum on Deeper Defense and Security Cooperation and the Memorandum designed to boost Georgia-US cooperation in the field of education.
We also launched Growth, a new USAID project, which seeks to promote economic growth in Georgia's regions, especially those along the occupation line. Cooperation is also very productive in the area of Health. Special mention, in this context, should be made of the highly successful C Hepatitis Elimination Program” – David Zalkaliani said.
According to the First Deputy Foreign Minister, such successful cooperation will further continue. The sides also spoke about the challenges faced by the two countries and the ways to resolve them. Special attention was paid to the issue of strategic communications and to the possible ways of improving coordination in the strategic communications process, including by the U.S. support.
USAID Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia Thomas Melia highlighted the successful U.S.-Georgia co-operation within the framework of the Working Group. According to him, a clear proof of this success is an increase in U.S. foreign assistance for Georgia.
“The main focus of discussions was the way the partnership between the U.S. and Georgia is benefiting the Georgian people in the areas of health and education. We discussed many aspects of education and training for Georgians and this will continue to be a large part of our co-operation. We also talked about the way our programmes can broaden the linkages between the Georgian citizens living in the territory of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and about the various ways we can bridge the communication gap. The final thing I want to talk about is that the U.S. assistance budget for Georgia increased last year and is increasing this year. And we will continue to invest in this partnership with the Georgian Government to further demonstrate to the Georgian people that their better future lies in the stronger co-operation with the United States” - Thomas Melia said.
The Strategic Partnership Commission is the primary mechanism for organizing and prioritizing the broad and deepening cooperation between the United States and Georgia. The Commission includes four bilateral working groups on priority areas identified in the Charter on Strategic Partnership: democracy and governance; defense and security; economics, trade, and energy; and people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
International Bidding has been announced for rehabilitation of Tskneti-Samadlo and Tskneti-Akhaldaba Road, destroyed as a result of natural disaster dated June 13th, 2015. All interested companies, including foreign and Georgian ones are able to participate in the Bidding. Duration of works is 14 months. Estimated cost amounts to 3,746,942 EUR. Bidding opening date is October 3rd, 2016. Detailed information on the Bidding is available at the web-sites of the State Procurement Agency and Municipal Development Fund (MDF) of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia (MRDI).
The sections of Tskneti-Samadlo and Tskneti-Akhaldaba Road were damaged as a result of natural disaster occurred on June 13th, 2015. Aimed at surveying reasons conditioning disaster and liquidating results of it there was conducted geological survey of the damaged section of Tskneti-Betania road and nearby site with involvement of American experts as per coordination of MRDI and support of USAID. As a result of conducted survey there were developed conceptual recommendations on what kind of arrangements are to be executed at the sections of Tskneti-Betania road, being dangerous from land sliding standpoint, aimed at providing sustainability of the road and nearby slopes.
Taking all recommendations into consideration on June 28 of the current year MDF announced the Bidding for design and rehabilitation of the Road, however the Bids were rejected as the proposed Bid prices were significantly overestimating compared with the National Competitive Bidding threshold for works according the European Investment Bank (EIB) Guide to Procurement, therefore the new International Bidding became essential to be announced.
The project undergoes implementation within “Georgian Urban Reconstruction and Development” Program of EIB.
Working meeting was held between Vakhtang Kolbaia, the Acting Chairman of Government of the A/R of Abkhazia, Brian King "The growth in Georgia" Project Manager of USAID and Representatives of REAP Georgian agricultural production efficiency restoration.
Within the USAID projects support of IDPs' employment in the country's agricultural sector and stimulate their economic initiatives especially IDPs living in the so-called "Dividing line" in the surrounding areas was the aim of today's meeting.
During the working meeting was expressed many interesting ideas and decisions to take concrete steps in terms of employment of refugees in the shortest possible time.
Valeri Basaria, Chairman, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Protection and Natural Resources of the A/R of Abkhazia attended the meeting.
Prime Minister of Georgia summarized the specific results of the US Secretary of State John Kerry. He considered the visit as successful and indicated that John Kerry already obtained tangible deliverables that will bring US-Georgian strategic partnership to a new level.
"The visit of the US Secretary of State John Kerry to Georgia is yet another clear demonstration of the active support to Georgia, Mister Kerry's visit ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw exemplifies support for Georgia on its path to NATO integration.
Tangible results of the visit are the memoranda that have been signed - Georgia-US Memorandum on Deeper Defense and Security Cooperation. This memorandum provides a new framework for deeper partnership and covers fields of cooperation that are critically important for strengthening Georgia's security and enhancing its defense capabilities.
Equally important is the signing of another document designed to boost Georgia-US cooperation in the field of education by enhancing the Fulbright Student Program. Consequently, it doubles the number of Georgian students that will receive be able to obtain education n the US.
We have also discussed an important project Growth that will be funded by USAID. It seeks to promote economic growth in Georgia's regions along the occupation line. It is expected that the project will create up to 2,000 new workplaces thus affecting 11 000 families.
I consider that there are quite important achievements that were brought about by the visit and I would like to congratulate you on them!" - Giorgi Kvirikashvili indicated.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Georgia’s Revenue Service opened a two-day peer-to-peer learning conference on international trade in Batumi to help countries in Europe and Central Asia enhance cross-border trade and boost economic growth.
The conference brings together around 70 participants from 17 countries, including customs officials, senior members of government, and private sector players. Expert panelists come from the World Customs Organization, the World Trade Organization, and the European Commission. They will discuss ways countries can improve their competitiveness and gain access to international markets. That is considered important in Europe and Central Asia, where cross-border can be slow and expensive, holding back economic growth.
“Enhancing international trade will help bring tangible benefits to all our countries,” said Vakhtang Lashkaradze, the Deputy Director General of Georgia's Revenue Service. “We are pleased to co-host this important learning forum as we believe Georgia has a lot to share and also learn from other countries. Our joint efforts will help boost private sector growth across the region.”
The World Bank Group helps governments around the world implement measures to maximize trade competitiveness, including streamlining border clearance procedures. As a result, businesses can enjoy reduced inspection rates, simplified procedures, reduced times for clearing and transporting goods, and lowered operating costs, while also enabling government agencies to operate more efficiently.
“Governments in Europe and Central Asia have demonstrated a strong interest in simplifying international trade procedures,” said Jesper Kjaer, IFC Senior Manager, Europe and Central Asia. “This conference aims to create a learning forum on these issues and is part of our efforts to help reduce trade barriers across borders to boost economic growth in these countries.”
The initiative forms part of the World Bank Group’s Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, a joint practice of the World Bank and IFC, which helps countries accelerate private sector growth by creating simple, efficient, business-friendly practices, while ensuring public interests are protected.
As part of these efforts, the Trade Facilitation Support Program is helping developing countries implement trade facilitation reforms, thus leading to increased trade, investments, and job creation. The program is supported by the Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, the European Commission, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland's State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, UKaid, and USAID. The Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance also supported this conference. In fiscal year 2015, IFC invested almost $18 million in developing countries worldwide.
The meeting of the Working Group of the US-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission will be held in Tbilisi tomorrow - during their meeting today Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Bridget Brink addressed the US-Georgian strategic partnership and issues that will be discussed by the Working Group.
Pursuant to the Prime Minister, in terms of implemented democratic reforms, particularly, in light of upcoming Parliamentary elections, the Government puts particular emphasis on assessments and recommendations of its partners. Giorgi Kvirikashvili noted that Government of Georgia will ensure free and transparent elections and peaceful election environment as well as extreme engagement of international organizations in the monitoring process.
The conversation touched upon the Government's 4-point reform plan. Pursuant to Prime Minister, the Government is committed to follow the path of democratic reforms, ensure independence of judiciary, and establish open governance standards, as well as strengthen freedom of media and media pluralism.
Readiness of US Secretary of State John Kerry to visit Georgia was discussed during the meeting. It was noted that this will be yet another indication of the strategic partnership between the countries and the US support to Georgia.
Issues concerning Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic integration were also discussed.
The meeting at the Administration of Government of Georgia was attended by Assistant Administrator of USAID for Europe & Eurasia Thomas Melia, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) at the U.S. Department of State Robert Berschinski, Coordinator for U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia Alina Romanowski, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy to Georgia Nicholas Berliner, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Mikheil Janelidze and the Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee of Parliament of Georgia Tedo Japaridze.
On June 13, 2016, which is an anniversary of the natural disaster, geological survey of the damaged section of Tskenti-Betania road and its adjacent area is completed. The survey was conducted on demand and in coordination with the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia. The design for rehabilitation of the road sections, which were damaged by the calamity is under preparation. American experts backed by the USAID were actively involved in the process of survey; together with the Georgian specialists, they have conducted geological investigations by applying latest technologies. As a result of the above-mentioned survey, conceptual recommendations were prepared regarding actions to be undertaken at the landslide-prone sections of Tskneti-Betania road, for ensuring stability of the road and its adjoining slopes. In view of the above-mentioned recommendations, in the nearest future the Municipal Development Fund of Georgia will announce bidding on road design and rehabilitation works. The project will be implemented under the “Urban Reconstruction and Development Program of Georgia” of the European Investment Bank. Under the same program, the Municipal Development Fund of Georgia will additionally implement two important projects proposed by the Tbilisi City Hall: Construction of the cast-in-sit reinforced concrete wall in park “Mziuri” in the river Vere gorge and arrangement of silt-trapping structures (grating) in the riverbed. Currently, the process of approval of the bidding documentation by the donor organization is ongoing.