EU and Georgia sign for €129 million COVID-19 recovery agreements

  • "We will continue to do everything we can to alleviate the effects of the pandemic on the lives of the people and businesses,” Várhelyi said. Photo: Press office of Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi.

Agenda.ge, 29 Sep 2020 - 15:04, Tbilisi,Georgia

European Union Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi and Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Gakharia, have signed two agreements worth €129 million today in Brussels to assist Georgia in coping with the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the country's economy.

“The European Union is standing by Georgia in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to do everything we can to alleviate the effects of the pandemic on the lives of the people and businesses,” Várhelyi said.

The two financing agreements signed today as part of the EU's Covid-19 support package for Georgia, will reinforce support in key programmes:

'COVID-19 Resilience Contract for Georgia'

Through a €75 million grant, the EU will support the country's Anti-Crisis Economic Plan, designed to help citizens of Georgia recover from the impact of the pandemic. Measures include social assistance for vulnerable households and support to businesses who have retained jobs in difficult times. The grant will also help to increase the number of beds in intensive care units to prepare for a potential increase in infections.        

'EU4 Integrated Territorial Development'

The EU will support this plan with €54 million in grants targeting the economic development of regions outside the capital. In order for all citizens of Georgia to benefit from economic development, the programme will focus on local authorities and concrete actions for citizens, such as rehabilitating or constructing infrastructure in urban zones, encouraging tourism development, and supporting small and medium sized companies and innovation.

The programme also includes measures to support decentralisation and involving citizens in the decision-making process at the local level.

The two agreements are part of the EU's response to COVID-19 under the 'Team Europe' initiative. The total package today is at €36.5 billion.   

EU support mobilised for Georgia since the beginning of the crisis includes a variety of actions designed to help Georgian citizens cope with and recover from the impact of the pandemic.

Support measures include medical supplies, social support to vulnerable groups, loans and grants to businesses and farmers throughout the country, and direct financial support to the state budget.

PM Gakharia departed yesterday to Brussels, Belgium accompanied by Georgian FM David Zalkaliani to meet with EU and NATO leadership and to further discuss Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

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