World Bank will allocate $400 million for the Human Capital Programme for Georgia, calling it “the largest cross-sectorial investment” for the country over 30 years of partnership.
The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved the programme on Tuesday and it will be financed through the bank’s Programme for Results (PforR) in Georgia aiming at improving education, health, and social protection outcomes. Georgia is using the instrument for World Bank for the first time for any sector in the country.
The programme also intends to advance the quality of life for all Georgian citizens “with fair and equal access to high-quality education, better targeted social benefits, and strong preventive healthcare with lowered cost of treatments and medicine” the World Bank said.
Increased efficiency of service delivery and promotion of the inclusion of vulnerable groups in health, social, and employment services is the main target of the programme’s health and social protection dimension, with the expectation to improve the situation in the country regarding social assistance coverage and unemployment.
The programme also includes educational reforms which intend to enhance the skills and competencies of Georgian children and youngsters to “better tackle increasingly complex problems that face modern societies.”
The bank said the goal of the programme in the educational field would be reached through a “fundamental reform” of the education system, adding “students will have access to better facilities and teachers and school authorities will receive better and closer support in all regions of Georgia.”
Climate change is also featured in the cross-sectorial programme of the World Bank through various educational modules on climate change, energy efficiency and climate resilience.
Sebastian Molineus, the World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus, called the Human Capital Programme for Georgia an “unprecedented” project for both Georgia and the World Bank, saying “only by unlocking the full potential of its human capital, by ensuring access to high-quality education for the next generation, and by delivering equal healthcare and social protection services for all citizens, can Georgia build a solid foundation for inclusive and sustained growth.”
Georgian Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili said the human capital development was one of the “highest priorities” for the Georgian Government, emphasising the importance of protecting human capital outcomes, closing equity gaps and alleviating negative effects of the pandemic in more consistent manner.