US offers $5m more financial aid to Georgia

In total, the United States is providing approximately $65 million in assistance to Georgia this year., 08 Jun 2014 - 19:55, Tbilisi,Georgia

The United States of America are offering Georgia an additional $5 million USD in aid, bringing the total amount of support funds offered to Georgia this year by the US to around $65 million USD.

US Vice President Joe Biden told Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili the additional support would go towards assisting those in Georgia’s breakaway regions and help the country continue to implement reforms to strengthen the justice sector.

The American official told Margvelashvili of the additional funding boost when they met on June 7 after the inauguration of Ukraine’s newly elected President Petro Poroshenko.

The assistance comes following the announcement of a $1.5 million Administrative Boundary Line assistance package announced by US Secretary of State Kerry at the US-Georgia Strategic Partnership meeting on February 26, 2014.

The US will provide approximately $65 million in assistance to Georgia this year.

Biden said the new assistance would help individuals affected by people living near the boundary line in Georgia’s breakaway regions, promote increased access to independent information in the region, promote national unity and help the Government of Georgia conduct key reforms to strengthen the justice sector.

The official webpage of the White House stated the $5 million assistance package would help people who lived near the boundary line by creating about 40 small infrastructure projects to rehabilitate potable water systems, irrigation channels, drainage and village roads. This would benefit up to 4,000 households.

The money would also support new means of income generation for at least 2,000 vulnerable households along the boundary line through vocational training, access to finance, and micro-enterprise assistance, as well as helping people living in the breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia to have access to objective information.

Furthermore, the funds would help the Ministry of Justice establish an inspection group responsible for ensuring Georgia's new Anti-Discrimination Law was enforced. The law was a requirement of Georgia’s Visa Liberalization Action Plan with the European Union. Money would also support efforts to promote national unity such as public awareness, education, and youth activities related to tolerance and diversity.

The White House website claimed this additional support would complement long-term US assistance programs in Georgia designed to support systemic reforms and build institutional capacity across a range of sectors, including the rule of law; democracy and good governance by helping public agencies carry out transparent and inclusive decision-making processes; broad-based economic growth by helping enterprises expand their businesses, diversifying markets, promoting women's access to credit and strengthening Georgia’s intellectual property rights enforcement and compliance with World Trade Organization requirements.

Also, in the scope of the assistance programs, the US assisted the Georgian Government's efforts to lay the groundwork for a peaceful and sustainable resolution to the conflicts that respects Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.