To advance local and regional development in Georgia, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), with financial support from the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), is implementing a range of local projects in the country’s regions. This assistance is focused on overcoming the economic and social challenges brought on by the pandemic, as well as on improving and expanding public services and increasing citizen engagement in decision-making.
Local projects in the Kvemo Kartli region were showcased on 3 November during the visit of Ursula Läubli, SDC Eurasia Division Head; Dr. Danielle Meuwly, Regional Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus; Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Deputy Head in Georgia; and Gigi Bregadze, UNDP Democratic Governance Team Leader.
The SDC and UNDP delegation traveled to the Marneuli municipality to meet with local entrepreneurs who received support to start or expand their business activities. In Kvemo Kartli, this assistance covered over 300 tourism-related start-ups and small agricultural businesses. In addition, to promote cross-border cooperation between Azerbaijan and Georgia, a Network of Women Entrepreneurs was established, bringing together 30 women farmers from both countries. In total, ADC, SDC and UNDP supported more than 400 beneficiaries, including ethnic minorities, women and youth.
The visit continued in a community center in Kachagani village. The center is tailored to the needs of national minorities and provides crucially important public and private services to more than 20 thousand local residents. It was constructed and equipped through the assistance of international partners, including the ADC, the European Union, SDC and UNDP.
“Creating jobs and reducing rural poverty is one of UNDP’s main goals in Georgia. With generous funding from the Swiss and Austrian governments, UNDP is supporting hundreds of small businesses and rural entrepreneurs to survive the pandemic and even expand their business activities,” said UNDP Deputy Head Anna Chernyshova.
UNDP assistance draws on the resources made available by the robust program funded by the governments of Austria and Switzerland to support economic and social development and good governance in four regions of Georgia (Guria, Kvemo Kartli, Racha-Lechkhumi-Kvemo Svaneti and Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti). The initiative is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, local authorities and civil society organizations.