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Supporting green and human-centered economic development in Georgia

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Monday, March 16
The GGP Grassroots Human Security Program, funded by the people and the Government of Japan, has been operating since 1998. For over 20 years now it has been supporting Georgia’s socio-economic development, also contributing to environmental protection.

Throughout two decades, the program funded about about 180 projects, worth about 18 million USD including: 63 schools and kindergartens rehabilitated or built; 3400 hectares of land cleared of landmines; 20 hospitals rehabilitated and/or equipped; 25 agricultural centers built or equipped; 25 social homes built or rehabilitated; 9 rehabilitation or arrangement of irrigation systems; 5 waste management equipment items purchased/arranged.

The projects ensured the basic needs of thousands of people, helping increase socio-economic protection.

A Press Tour was planned and established by the Japanese Embassy in Georgia. During the tour, participants had the opportunity to travel to several parts of Georgia and be updated on the ongoing processes.

Within the press tour, participants got accurate information about several projects, including the construction and equipment of biomass briquette facility in Tsalka and eco-migrant villages (Avranlo, Trialeti).

Eco-migrants often live in poverty, their major sources of income being social welfare and agriculture. Families may have to take loans for purchasing firewood (for heating homes, hygienic water, cooking, etc.), and as a result, forests are destroyed in addition to poverty and social problems (that particularly affect women).

Within the project about bio-briquette workshops were constructed and equipped, where bio-waste (ecologically clean) will be transformed into substitutes for firewood, potentially saving forests and raising families from poverty. Bio-briquettes will be distributed free of charge.

High-power fire-fighting engines for Borjomi – Borjomi Kharagauli forest is a unique forest not only in Georgia, but in the entire South Caucasus, but because of the difficult landscape, even the smallest fires spread fast and destroy large masses of forest. Within the project, high-power machines were purchased, which reach even the most difficult landscapes, preventing forest fire from spreading.

This helps nature, health of the local population (whose lungs suffer from ashes) and economic development – families lose tourists during forest fires and as a result – lose the money they loaned from banks for construction of tourist’s infrastructure/hostels.

Irrigation and water channels in Gori – across the ABL with Tskhinvali, irrigation and drinking water systems have been severely damaged. Heavy equipment, purchased within the project, will help maintain the existing water channels and make the new ones – which is important for irrigation for agriculture (main source of income for locals), but also for decreasing feminization of poverty (women are mostly working with household chores, which requires water systems).

Construction of a post-chemotherapy rehabilitation center – many children die of chemotherapy (post-cancer) because their parents may not know the simplest rules – post-chemotherapy patients must drink a lot of water, for example. Within the project, the first ever post-chemotherapy rehabilitation center will be built in the entire South Caucasus, helping families and children cope with post-chemotherapy challenges.

As a result of the tour, many had the opportunity to better understand the situation in the regions of Georgia and the future that the country can have with the help of the Embassy of Japan. Many people participated in the tour, mostly the media representatives.