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The News in Brief

Thursday, November 20
World Bank employment programme for IDPs

Next year the World Bank plans to implement an employment programme for IDPs who were displaced as result of the conflict in 1991-1993 in Abkhazia, a statement disseminated by the Ministry for Refugees and Settlement said on November 18.

The Ministry for Refugees and Settlement has enjoyed extensive co-operation with the World Bank. Together with other donors the World Bank has implemented different projects to render aid to IDPs for many years.

The World Bank allocated financial aid to IDPs during the Russian-Georgian conflict in August. Details of the distribution of this aid were considered on Tuesday at a meeting between Minister for Refugees and Settlement Koba Subeliani, head of the World Bank Mission in Georgia Roy Southworth and senior World Bank specialist Tamar Sulukhia. The Ministry’s Press Service says that the priorities of the Bank’s post-conflict rehabilitation fund and a strategy outlining the criteria for the resettlement of people who suffered as a result of the conflict and a supply of information to them were also discussed.

According to Subeliani, the World Bank is among the donors that openly expressed its readiness to assist Georgia in Brussels. “Using a grant allocated by the World Bank we first of all render assistance to people who suffered as a result of the Russian aggression. After this we will assist IDPs from Abkhazia,” Subeliani stated. (Black Sea Press)

USA finances establishing checkpoint on Georgian-Azerbaijani border

U.S. Government has funded the establishment of a checkpoint at the Georgian-Azerbaijani border in Lagodekhi district, journalists were told at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi. “The project cost USD 962,000 and was carried out as part of the three-year U.S.-run Border Protection and Rule of Law Programme. The overall programe amounts to USD 150 million,” a U.S. Embassy spokesperson said.

The new checkpoint is furnished with modern equipment handed over to the Border Police of the Ministry of the Interior of Georgia. The U.S. Government has modernized two checkpoints in Georgia since 2006, on the Georgian-Azerbaijani and Georgian-Armenian borders, the Red Bridge and Sadakhlo checkpoints.

The Border Protection and Rule of Law Programme will be completed at the end of 2008. A fourth new checkpoint will be opened on the Georgian-Russian border in Kazbegi district (Georgia) within the framework of the aforesaid programme. (Black Sea Press)

Casualties of road accident in Turkey identified

Georgian nationals and one Azeri citizen, who died in the road accident in Turkey yesterday, have been identified and their bodies will be taken to Georgia today, the Head of the Consular Department of the Foreign Ministry of Georgia told journalists on Wednesday, Rustavi 2 reports.

The casualties were Khatuna Bakhturidze, Patima Askerova, Ketevan Tsiklauri and Vagif Ismailov. According to the latest report, 38 passengers were travelling from Istanbul to Tbilisi in a Mahmud Tour Agency bus which collided with a road sign in the northeastern province of Artvin. Four died, others were injured. Thirty of the injured have already been hospitalized in Georgia; others remain in Turkey due to the extent of their injuries. Black Sea Press)

Prime Minister opens new prison hospital

On Tuesday Prime Minister of Georgia Grigol Mgaloblishvili was present at the opening of a new medical institution for the treatment of prisoners in Gldani, Black Sea Press was informed at the Press Service of the Chancellery of the Premier.

The medical facility for prisoners is within jail N8 of the Department for Punishment Execution. Construction began in 2006. The hospital has 244 beds, the multi-profile inpatient department has been provided with modern equipment.

“Next year healthcare financing will increase. This will give us the possibility of taking better care of such facilities,” Mgaloblishvili noted. (Black Sea Press)