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European Union provides 22 displaced households with new homes

By Messenger Staff
Friday, February 12
At an official ceremony held on Thursday, 11 February in Senaki (the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region) 22 displaced families received keys to their new homes. These are part of the 285 housing units being built or rehabilitated in western Georgia for some 1,100 internally displaced people living in the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti and Imereti regions in the second phase of a Euro 9.7 mln project funded by the European Union.

This two phase project entitled “Improvement of Internally Displaced People (IDP) Living Conditions in Georgia" is part of the European Union's commitment to help Georgia overcome the results of the 2008 conflict through support for reconstruction. Eventually approximately 10,200 people who had to flee their homes following the 2008 war and displaced people from the early 1990s will benefit.

Phase One aimed at helping people affected by the August 2008 conflict. Collective centres in Tbilisi, Shida Kartli and western Georgia have been made weatherproof and warmer. “One warm room” cottages have been built in Shida Kartli next to homes destroyed during the fighting. These small cottages have enabled people to return home and start rebuilding their lives.

Phase Two started in spring 2009 with the rehabilitation of collective centres in western Georgia to provide homes for people displaced since the early 90’s. New houses were also built in the Gali region for those displaced people who returned home.

At the opening Ceremony the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, Ambassador Eklund, said: " I am glad to see how the assistance provided by the European Union, in the aftermath of the war of 2008, has gone beyond the delivery of humanitarian aid to those forced to leave everything behind them. Today we are indeed witnessing the improvement of the living conditions of several families who have been living in a precarious situation for nearly two decades".

“With some many tens of thousands of IDPs still needing adequate accommodation, unfortunately this project in Senaki is just a drop in the ocean" said Dr Peter Nicolaus, UNHCR Representative, “but also it is vital to help displaced people stand on their own two feet once again and earn a living. Only then can UNHCR consider that these people have been truly helped. This is why UNHCR is placing so much importance on establishing small income generating projects”.

The project has been carried out by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) through the Danish and Norwegian Refugee Councils, Care International and International Relief & Development.