FY 2010 Foreign Assistance Goals
U.S. assistance sought to help Georgia advance participatory democracy, advance the development of its free-market economy, and support Georgia’s further integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. A democratic Georgia that invests in its people will not only promote stability and provide a model for the region, but will also help to secure Georgia’s role as an alternative energy corridor to Europe for Caspian and Central Asian oil and gas. U.S. assistance has worked vigorously to help reduce Georgia’s vulnerability to external political and economic pressures by addressing the lingering consequences of the August 2008 military conflict and the global economic crisis, working to restore a path of accelerated economic growth, and strengthening Georgia’s democratic institutions and processes.
Total FY 2010 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: $78.96 million*
(*Foreign Operations funding appropriated for FY 2010, not including Peace Corps funding and centrally managed, regional Foreign Operations funding that is not budgeted for specific countries. Humanitarian Assistance total does not include the value of donated humanitarian commodities transported by the Department of State, estimated at $21.12 million in FY 2010.)
Highlights of FY 2010 Performance by Area of Focus
Peace and Security
-- U.S. Government (USG) support continued to develop Georgia’s counterterrorism detection, interdiction and investigation capabilities in order to improve the country’s ability to prevent and respond to terrorism. Georgian law enforcement officials completed training on mid-level and senior-level management, border security, terrorist incident response, and prevention of attacks on critical infrastructure. In cooperation with the European Union (EU), the USG effectively stressed the priority need to revise Georgia’s export control law to meet European standards: the revised, EU-compliant law is projected to be presented to the Georgian Parliament in 2011.
-- USG training upgraded the professional skills within several law enforcement agencies, with significant progress made towards self-sufficiency for routine training. The USG completed its work with the Georgian Coast Guard’s (GCG) Maritime Law Enforcement (MLE) program, certifying six GCG instructors in MLE training. GCG now plans, organizes and executes its own MLE training. Similar progress was made in preparing the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOIA) Police Academy to conduct commodity identification training, which is now conducted with limited USG participation. MOIA investigators have been trained in controlled delivery techniques. A recently donated strategic trade control automated licensing system is in use by the Georgian interagency to help control the import, export and transshipment of dual use goods.
-- With USG support, the GCG initiated a preventive maintenance program and is in the process of reprogramming its organizational framework to mirror the U.S. Coast Guard’s Port Engineer Program, assigned a higher priority to technical training, and increased its annual maintenance budget from $27,000 to $569,000. The USG provided almost $2 million to refurbish the GCG’s two primary patrol vessels and to complete the modernization of a third. USG funding is also enabling the building and equipping of a ship repair facility. USG funding is also supporting the installation and integration of modern radar systems and secure communications for the GCG.
-- U.S. military educational institutions trained 50 Georgian civilian and military defense officials, who joined a core group of previously trained Georgian leaders with knowledge of the U.S. military. The USG also trained and equipped 1,500 Georgian soldiers enabling the deployment of Georgian forces in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan.
-- In FY 2010, the USG supported efforts to combat trafficking in persons (TIP), money laundering and financial crimes, and began work to establish a cybercrime unit in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Georgia continues to be ranked in Tier 1 of the Department of State’s TIP Report.
Governing Justly and Democratically
-- The Georgian Government’s (GOG) commitment to court reform and an independent judiciary was confirmed by President Saakashvili’s approval of an anti-corruption strategy in July 2010. To help strengthen Georgia’s judiciary and ensure more independence for judges, USG funding supported Georgian efforts to introduce lifetime judicial appointments and to enact a new Criminal Procedure Code that includes a jury-trial system.
-- The USG helped 14 trial and appellate courts by providing case-flow management training to judges, court staff and local bar associations; analyzing the causes of case delay; and installing audio recording equipment and training court secretaries in audio recording. These activities contributed to a decrease in case deposition in the assisted courts from 111 days in 2009 to 79 days in 2010. Another achievement in case management in 2010 was the creation of court manager positions and an accompanying professional certification program. Fourteen court managers completed a three-week court management course at the High School of Justice and successfully passed the certification exams.
-- USG-supported training helped develop all aspects of the Georgian legal system, from training judges to providing free legal assistance to Georgian citizens. Direct training for the courts helped 518 judges, judicial assistants, attorneys, court managers and intake officers improve their knowledge of case-flow and court management, audio recording of court hearings, customer service, and communication. Also, the USG worked with the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to create a mock jury-trial courtroom, a quality teaching platform for the MOJ’s Training Center, which was used to conduct trial-skills training for all 400 Georgian prosecutors.
-- The USG supported four public meetings on draft amendments to Georgia’s Constitution in major cities around the country in order to increase citizen input into the legislative process. The USG facilitated the final meeting of the Parliamentary Constitutional Commission on Public Debate, during which a number of the concerns raised by civil society and the public during the previous meetings were addressed and eventually included in the final draft constitution.
-- To increase parliamentary transparency and accountability, the USG helped develop a parliamentary voting records database that electronically displays the individual voting record of each Member of Parliament on legislation passed since July 2010.
-- In preparation for the May 2010 local elections, the USG worked closely with the Central Election Commission, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), political parties, and other stakeholders to promote a free, fair and participatory process. USG-funded technical experts offered guidance on electoral administration, electoral dispute resolution, and use of administrative resources in campaigning, domestic observation and voter registration. The USG supported voter education, media monitoring, and election observation, and sponsored the country’s first live, televised mayoral debates. These programs contributed to an election described by the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR) as marking “evident progress” towards meeting Georgia’s international commitments.
-- USG assistance provided a platform for cooperation between the Civic Integration and Tolerance Council (CITC) in the Office of the President, and the Ethnic Minority Council in the Office of the Public Defender, resulting in the implementation of the National Concept and Action Plan (NCAP) for Tolerance and Integration, which was developed in 2009 with USG assistance. USG programs supported a group of ethnic-minority NGOs to assess GOG programs in integration and tolerance, develop recommendations, and present their report to relevant ministries and Ethnic Minority Council members.
-- USG-funded small grants to 49 Georgian NGOs and individuals promoted the rule of law, civic integration of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and ethnic minorities, and development of regional media. USG support enabled regional and online media to monitor government transparency and human rights, brought youth from different ethnic groups together to enhance civic integration, and facilitated development of better business practices for regional agricultural associations.
-- In order to improve the English language skills of Georgians, the USG brought five English Language Fellows (ELFs) to work in Zugdidi, Kutaisi, Gori, and the ethnic Armenian and Azeri regions of Georgia. ELFs trained 170 teachers in modern methodologies such as listening and speaking skills, and provided conversational English classes to 660 primary and secondary school students, focusing on democratic ideals among youth.
Investing in People
-- As a result of USG support, over 10,000 women received life-saving “Active Management of the Third Stage of Labor” services. These services are now provided in 18 pilot sites, where they are used in 98 percent of vaginal deliveries and 63 percent of all deliveries. Despite the increase in pilot sites, the postpartum hemorrhage (the main cause of death for delivering women) rate has remained at the 1.2% rate achieved in FY 2009 (as compared to 8% before the activity commenced). Over 13,500 newborns received essential newborn care, which is now practiced in 94% of all deliveries in Georgia, and USG funding provided contraceptives through 617 health facilities, primarily for rural and underserved populations.
-- USG support leveraged $28 million in loans for the rehabilitation and construction of approximately 15 hospitals in Georgia in 2010. Additionally, three small public hospitals in predominately ethnic-minority regions are being renovated. The USG also provided 10 conflict-affected schools with indoor lavatories, water access, and training on sanitation and hygiene practices, benefiting over 1,986 students and teachers. In addition, 10 Georgian physicians graduated from a USG-supported emergency medicine mini-residency program, and 444 nurses were trained in general nursing, pediatrics, maternity, intensive care and emergency-room care.
-- The USG trained health care providers in tuberculosis (TB) control and multi-drug resistant TB management to improve clinical and laboratory services; provided supportive supervision to medical personnel; strengthened links between the national HIV/AIDS and TB programs; promoted infection control measures; expanded community based directly observed treatment short-course (DOTS); and increased public awareness of TB. These efforts resulted in a TB case-detection rate of 123% of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) estimated rate for Georgia, thereby surpassing the WHO target of 70% detection. There is also a steady decrease in the TB treatment default rate: 8% in 2010 compared to 24% in 2003.
-- USG assistance supported the GOG’s long-term goal of increasing the quality of basic education in Georgia. According to GOG, as many as half of Georgia’s public schools are allocated an inadequate amount of funding and must run a deficit. With USG support, the Ministry of Education and Sciences (MES) created an alternative funding formula that provides adequate funding for all schools to fulfill the national curriculum by redirecting funding from urban to rural schools. The new formula was piloted in ten schools, and the MES plans to expand it nationwide in 2011.
-- The USG continued support to improving the institutional capacity of the Caucasus School of Business at the Caucasus University (CU) by establishing the first Western-style Ph.D. program in Business Administration in Georgia in 2010. Participants have already completed 14 research papers and posted on a public website (http://cu.edu.ge). Each program participant will also develop at least one Ph.D.-level course for CU.
-- USG assistance helped Georgia increase tax collections as a percentage of GDP from 24.5% in 2009 to 25.6% in the first half of 2010. In addition, USG funds helped improve local and national government officials’ skills in program budgeting, expenditure forecasting and budget prioritization, which has helped bring budget systems into compliance with international standards and has improved state budget execution and reporting.
-- The USG provided recommendations to the GOG to help establish a fair and transparent tax system conducive to business development. In FY 2010, the Georgian Parliament enacted a new tax code that will take effect in 2011, according to which microenterprises and small businesses will be entitled to register for special tax rules that will reduce their tax and compliance costs; other businesses will benefit from a shift from monthly to quarterly tax reporting; taxpayers’ rights will be improved by the introduction of a tax ombudsman function; and, tax and customs laws will be simplified by incorporating them into a single code.
-- An ongoing USG loan guarantee stimulated financing for agriculture by demonstrating that lending to agribusinesses can be profitable when risk is managed effectively. The loan guarantee reduced the perceived risk of lending by protecting the partner bank against excessive loan losses. The total value of loans provided by the bank to the Georgian agribusinesses under this loan guarantee equaled $3 million, of which $325,714 was lent during FY 2010. Another loan guarantee program enabled a Georgian microfinance institution to borrow and subsequently expand an additional $1 million in micro-loans to Georgian entrepreneurs and microenterprises. In FY 2010, the USG extended a loan portfolio guarantee to a Georgian commercial bank, with maximum cumulative disbursements up to $9 million, to foster lending to micro, small and medium sized enterprises, including agribusinesses, making up 35% of the portfolio.
-- USG funding supported professional engineering and technical services to oversee gas and power infrastructure construction projects. This assistance supported the implementation of the contract between the USG and the Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation, a state-owned entity, to extend gas services to tens of thousands of households and businesses in the area surrounding the city of Poti. These services also allow the USG to oversee the implementation of another major project that supports the construction of the critical power transmission infrastructure that was dismantled in the 1990s.
-- In response to the Ministry of Agriculture’s (MOA) request for certified private veterinarians, the USG partnered with the Georgian State Agrarian University, three regional agricultural education institutions, and the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) to provide veterinary certification training across the country. A total of 62 private veterinarians passed the certification exam, equipping the MOA with well-trained technical staff to meet the 2010 fall vaccination targets. The USG also helped boost investment in Georgia’s developing agricultural sector by supporting trade and investment missions to Georgia and connecting U.S. agriculture-related companies and investors with Georgian producers.
-- The USG continued to provide assistance for the privatization of agricultural land lots as part of Georgia’s broader effort to transfer land ownership to rural farmers. USG assistance over the last five years has resulted in the privatization of 221,200 hectares of agricultural land (of which 17,600 was privatized in FY 2010), which constitutes 61% of the total area of farmland available for privatization. This assistance facilitated land consolidation, which is critical to agricultural productivity, and helped establish titled property that can be used as collateral to access financial services. In FY 2010, 65 land lots totaling 19,600 hectares were identified.
-- The USG supported 7,600 households in registering their properties, which included creating a database of 7,300 houses and residential and agricultural land parcels abandoned by 3,500 households in the occupied territories as a result of the August 2008 conflict. This assistance also supported titling of 1,034 agricultural land parcels for IDPs and registering 3,150 houses for 3,150 beneficiary households that received houses and land parcels from the GOG after this conflict.
-- In FY 2010, 2,817 households affected by the August 2008 conflict received high-quality seed to plant winter wheat on 2,750 hectares of land. Additionally, 300 tons of concentrate animal feed was distributed to 2,994 households; 1,975 farmers were trained on how to produce animal feed concentrates; and anti-parasitic treatment was conducted for 32,047 head of cattle in 80 villages.
-- The USG rehabilitated 16 deteriorated schools in conflict-affected communities in the Gori and Kareli Districts. Approximately 3,543 students from 16 targeted schools directly benefited from the assistance. Indoor toilets were installed in eight schools, and drinking water systems were installed in nine schools. Sanitation training, including the maintenance of indoor toilets, was conducted for all schools.