UNDP and Germany promote social integration of Ukrainian nationals living in Georgia
TBILISI. 13 September 2023 — The newly inaugurated Ukrainian House in Tbilisi marks a significant milestone in enhancing support for Ukrainian nationals living in Georgia. The initiative is spearheaded by the Ukrainian community organization “Georgian-Ukrainian Platform” with support from the Government of Germany through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Ukrainian House stands as a symbol of unity and collaboration, committed to supporting Ukrainian nationals who sought refuge in Georgia amidst the devastating war that inflicts unmeasurable suffering upon the Ukrainian people and has profound global repercussions.
This multifunctional space, situated in the heart of Tbilisi, will address the needs of Ukrainian non-governmental organizations and volunteer groups committed to assisting Ukrainian beneficiaries in Georgia. The Ukrainian House will serve as both a communal hub, an operational office space, and a referral point for various socio-economic services tailored for Ukrainian nationals.
In addition to its core mission, the Ukrainian House will be a focal point for cultural exchange. Its dynamic calendar of events will cater to both adults and children, fostering integration and enhancing the growth of Georgian-Ukrainian relations.
The Ukrainian House officially opened its doors on 13 September 2023, during a ceremony attended by Tanja Hutt, Deputy Head of Mission, German Embassy in Georgia; Oleksandr Shulha, charge d'affaires of Ukraine in Georgia; Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Georgia, Valentina Marjanishvili, Head of the Georgian-Ukrainian Platform, and members of the Ukrainian community in Georgia.
“Germany is proud to contribute to the establishment of the Ukrainian House in Tbilisi. We are confident that this vibrant space will offer support to various Ukrainian community groups in Georgia, while actively fostering social integration," said Tanja Hutt, Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy in Georgia.
“Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has led to the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War. Nearly one-third of the Ukrainian population was forced to flee their homes, including more than half of all Ukrainian children. Around 25,000 found shelter, security, and hope in Georgia, and UNDP, with the generous support of Germany, is committed to assisting them. We're establishing a community space for Ukrainian civil society organizations, providing grants to entrepreneurs, and offering vital support for employment, recovery, and integration,” said Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Georgia.
"The establishment of the Ukrainian House reflects the close ties between Georgia and Ukraine. This space will offer practical assistance to Ukrainians living in Georgia and will foster connections and nurture talents within our community through cultural and educational events," noted Valentina Marjanishvili, Head of the Georgian-Ukrainian Platform.
The establishment of the Ukrainian House in Tbilisi is part of UNDP’s broader efforts, funded by the Government of Germany, to support refugees and Ukrainian nationals living in Georgia. ln partnership with CARE Caucasus, UNDP boosts economic recovery and income generation for refugees and Ukrainian nationals by creating a grants programme for entrepreneurs and providing business training, employment advice, and job-matching services within Georgia's private sector.
The EU and UNDP are supporting a partnership agreement signed between twelve municipalities of the Imereti region in Georgia and a number of waste and packaging organisations, aiming to develop better, more efficient and sustainable waste management systems.
“Developing a public-private partnership on waste collection, separation, and recycling is important for a circular economy as it allows resources to be collected and reused more efficiently,” says a press release from UNDP Georgia.
The initiative was supported by the ‘EU innovative action for private sector and competitiveness in Georgia’ project, funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP Georgia, as part of the wider EU4Business programme, which promotes private sector development in Georgia.
The partnership agreement was signed between the twelve municipalities and the World Packaging Organisation (WPO), Georgian Packaging Waste Producers Union ‘Georgia Plus’, PMAG Packaging Cluster, and Georgian Waste Management Association (WMA Georgia).
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27 February the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan signed new projects on health to improve access to treatment of the noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and enhance national capacity for clinical laboratory diagnostics.
“We are happy to note the increased collaboration between UNDP and the Government of Turkmenistan on strengthening health system of the country, which demonstrates a growing trust in UNDP as a strategic partner to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, by ensuring no one is left behind,”- said Ms. Narine Sahakyan, UNDP Resident Representative in Turkmenistan.
More specifically, UNDP launched the following new joint projects to support the national efforts to strengthen the country’s health system:
The project “Provision of medicines necessary for prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases and for maternal and child health in Turkmenistan in 2023-2024”, which is aimed at strengthening the national health systems capacities to control the noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), rare diseases, and improve maternal and newborn health in Turkmenistan. . The project will ensure access to free, good quality, available, affordable medicines across the country through the provision of medicines for treatment of NCDs and other diseases. This project will continue providing quality and affordable medicines initiated by the first NCD project between UNDP and MoHMI for 2020-2021. Notably, the project includes: i) the provision of medicines for rare and orphan diseases which are very costly, making the patients with the rare and orphan diseases most vulnerable to financial hardships; ii) provision of essential medicines for NCD patients, including the most vulnerable people; iii) contribute to women’s health by providing medicines for pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal period;
The project “Strengthening clinical laboratory services in Turkmenistan in 2023-2024” will focus on strengthening the national health system’s capacity for clinical laboratory diagnostics of diseases. The project will support health services to ensure availability, accessibility, reliability, and most-up-to-date laboratory investigations for accurate and timely diagnosis of the most common diseases, such as common infectious, non-infectious diseases, surgery, emergency cases, maternal and child health, and other. Important to note that the project will support laboratories of primary health care which serve most of the population. The availability of lab services at the PHC level in close proximity to the place of residence, reduces gender-related barriers and ensures equal access to a full range of lab investigations for women and girls, including lab investigations during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal period. The project will particularly help vulnerable people with access to lab services by reducing the cost of the services and the cost of transportation if such services are not available at PHC.
It is expected that both projects, fully funded by the Government of Turkmenistan with a total budget of around 78 million US dollars, will help Turkmenistan to contribute significantly to the achievement of the universal health coverage (UHC) and the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Ensuring Universal Health Coverage in the country and enhancing the resilience of the national health system to pandemics and acute diseases is one of the main areas of our cooperation with indeed impressive results. The volume of our past and ongoing cooperation only on health totals approximately $150 million, with the vast contribution coming from the government of Turkmenistan,” – said Ms. Sahakyan. “The remarkable achievements and outstanding collaboration between UNDP and Turkmenistan on public health have been reflected in the letters of recognition and appreciation from the UNDP Administrator and the Global Fund Executive Director addressed to His Excellency President of Turkmenistan, demonstrating readiness of UNDP and our partners to further improve national health system, leaving no one behind”.
UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and exclusion, and build resilience so countries can sustain progress. As the UN’s development agency, UNDP plays a critical role in helping countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
EU and UNDP select six local projects improving governance, policies, and services in Georgia’s regionsThursday, 16 February 2023 17:08
The European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG), have chosen six municipalities across Georgia to implement local projects focused on urban renewal, maintenance and development of public spaces, protection of historical and cultural heritage, preschool education, and quality public services.
The jury selected the six best local projects out of 52 ideas submitted by 22 municipalities. Each winner will receive funding between €4,500 and € 6,000. The total value of the grant programme is €30,800.
In Tskaltubo Municipality (Imereti region), a modern recreational venue at Niko Lortkipanidze Museum in Chune village, with free WIFI access, will be organised.
In Zestaponi Municipality (Imereti region), four kindergartens will be equipped with a play-and-learn inventory to assist children in learning and physical activities.
In Lagodekhi Municipality (Kakheti region), a multifunctional space will be created and equipped at the library of the newly renovated Lagodekhi Museum, serving as a venue for educational activities, film screening and youth meetings.
In Telavi Municipality (Kakheti region), 96 staff in 32 kindergartens will be trained and certified in first aid services. Two kindergartens will receive additional support to equip doctors’ offices at their premises.
In Oni Municipality (Racha-Lechkhumi-Kvemo Svaneti region), an open air cinema at one of Oni’s newly renovated plazas will provide young people with a comfortable space for film screenings, educational work and discussion club activities.
In Tsageri Municipality (Racha-Lechkhumi-Kvemo Svaneti region), the e-document project will support the digital transformation of the municipal preschool education system. Electronic tools will be introduced for registering children with kindergartens and training teachers.
The initiative is supported by the EU-funded programme EU for Integrated Territorial Development (EU4ITD), promoting balanced territorial development and improved living standards in Georgia’s regions.
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With the support of the EU and Denmark, and in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the National Statistics Office of Georgia (GEOSTAT) has developed a specialised webpage regions.geostat.ge integrated into its public website, offering information on 64 Georgian municipalities.
The platform tracks economic, demographic and social dynamics across 82 indicators, with 52 indicators provided by Georgia’s public agencies, and the rest by GEOSTAT through statistical surveys.
The project was developed with the aim of improving municipal data collection, systematising already available statistical information, defining and collecting new statistical indicators, and making sub-national statistics easily accessible to the public.
“The EU cares deeply about further developing the regions of Georgia to make sure that the whole population has access to opportunities and services. The foundation of this is clear and reliable data,” said Colombe de Mercey from the EU Delegation to Georgia. “The new GEOSTAT platform will help policy-makers and local authorities to make well-informed decisions for the people living in their regions.”
UNDP’s assistance to Georgia’s National Statistics Office, GEOSTAT, is supported by the EU-funded programme EU for Integrated Territorial Development (EU4ITD) promoting balanced territorial development and improved living standards in Georgia’s regions,
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The research examines widespread practices related to the personal data protection of LGBTQI+ people and provides recommendations for public agencies and the civil and private sectors to raise existing standards and fill in the gaps.
Commissioned by the European Union and UNDP, the research was carried out by the non-governmental organization “Rule of Law Centre” with contributions from civil society organizations “Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group” (WISG), “Equality Movement” and “Identoba Youth”.
- The healthcare sector often collects the personal data of LGBTQI+ community members in an insulting manner and without a legal basis. Excessive data collection and intentional or accidental disclosure of confidential information are common practices. Most healthcare institutions lack the organizational and technical capacities needed to gather, process and protect personal data.
- Similar problems are registered with the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The personal data of LGBTQI+ community members are being collected in a humiliating manner and without legal grounds. There are cases when criminal case information provided by an LGBTQI+ person is disclosed to an unauthorized third party or when data protection measures are not in place. For example, a crime witness and a victim can be interviewed at the same time in a shared space while interview protocols can be accessible to unauthorized third parties.
- Lawyers often disclose confidential personal data in their media interviews or on social media. This includes information on the sexual orientation and gender identity of court case participants.
- Psychologists and therapists disclose the confidential personal data of their patients without their consent.
- Georgian legislation does not consider personal data protection as a ground for closing a court hearing for the public. Judges usually do not grant relevant requests submitted by LGBTQI+ community members involved in civil or administrative cases.
- Public Service Hall employees sometimes use personal data for unofficial purposes or disclose it to third parties. The open-plan arrangement of Public Service Halls increases the risk of accidental data disclosure.
- Journalists often disclose information about the sexual orientation and gender identity of their respondents, violating the standards of journalistic ethics and personal data protection.
- Discrimination in the workplace is another challenge faced by the LGBTQI+ community. Sexual orientation and gender identity increase the risk of losing a job and can lead to humiliating treatment and personal data disclosure.
- The Personal Data Protection Authority does not segregate its statistical data by the cases related to the personal data protection of LGBTQI+ people. This makes it hard to analyse its actions and decisions.
- LGBTQI+ people are reluctant to respond to their personal data violation cases. Partly because they often lack information on data privacy and personal data protection, and partly because they feel vulnerable and uncomfortable contacting law enforcement authorities.
- Civil society organizations working to protect the rights of LGBTQI+ communities need support to increase their expertise and capacities in personal data protection.
The European Union in Georgia, Denmark, UNDP in Georgia and the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG) have helped kindergartens in Telavi municipality of Georgia to organise a first aid training course for their staff.
The initiative covered 32 pre-schools. Two kindergartens received additional support to equip doctors’ offices in their premises.
The importance of these courses is due to the fact that Georgian legislation obliges kindergartens to certify their first aid personnel in order to be allowed to protect children’s health and prevent accidents.
This initiative was selected as part of a grant competition funded by the EU and Denmark to improve management, policies and services in municipalities in Georgia.
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Joint statement by the UN Country Team on entry into force of plain packaging regulation of tobacco productsTuesday, 29 November 2022 10:28
December 31, 2022 is the deadline set by the Law of Georgia "On Tobacco Control" for the regulation of plain packaging of tobacco products to come into force. Plain packaging was expected to enter into force in 2018, but was postponed until the end of this year. Currently, a legislative initiative on another postponement of this deadline has been submitted to the Parliament of Georgia. We call on the Parliament of Georgia to reject this legislative initiative and ensure that the plain packaging regulations will enter into force within the timeframe specified in the current law.
To reduce the enormous health, social and economic damage caused by active and passive tobacco use in Georgia, the Parliament of Georgia adopted a strong tobacco control legislation in 2017, which was later recognized by international organizations and experts as a visionary law that serves as an example for many countries in the region. Just two years after the successful implementation of this law, studies show a significant decrease in tobacco use and second-hand tobacco smoke pollution in Georgia, which resulted in the reduction of the burden of tobacco-attributable diseases.
To build on this success, further comprehensive tobacco control measures need to be implemented in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Regulation on plain packaging for tobacco products is one of the most powerful regulations that make tobacco products less attractive and reduce the ability of tobacco products to mislead consumers about the harms of smoking.
The United Nations in Georgia would like to commend the firm position of the decision-makers of the Parliament of Georgia of various convocations and the Government of Georgia on the smooth implementation of tobacco control regulations. We hope that the Parliament of Georgia will take immediate steps to avoid another postponement and to ensure the plain packaging regulation enters into force in the beginning of 2023 and will thus help to protect the health of the current and future generations of Georgia.
On 18 October, Georgian parliamentarians presented their study on the potential to revive disused historic sites in the country.
Initiated by the Parliamentary Culture Committee with assistance from the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the enquiry engaged leading Georgian experts and representatives of the public, private and civic sectors.
The four-month study looked into ways to bring new life to historic sites, using their cultural value for redeveloping surrounding areas. It explored policy approaches for sustainable protection and preservation of historic heritage and studied the role of national and local authorities, the private sector and civil society in designing conservation and management tools.
The final report will be published at the end of October.
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The European Commission will provide $21 million to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support work to dismantle infrastructure in Ukraine that has collapsed as a result of Russian aggression.
The funds will also be used to identify, map and neutralise explosive ordnance and urgent environmental threats. They will also be used to repair or purchase strategic elements of infrastructure in the affected areas, such as transformers, thermal substations, water pumps, heat and water pipes, water decontamination systems and renewable energy supply equipment.
“This project will restore power and water stations and heating utilities. These are essential services that will give residents dignified lives and livelihoods at home,” said Manal Fouani, UNDP interim Resident Representative in Ukraine.
“The upcoming winter season will be very harsh and we need to do our utmost to make sure that people and the authorities have the necessary infrastructure operational”, said Matti Maasikas Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine.
The project is a part of the UNDP Resilience Building and Recovery Programme, launched by UNDP in April 2022 to support the Government of Ukraine to sustain essential governance structures for emergency response management, deliver vital public services, and protect livelihoods.
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