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Georgia’s public and civil sectors work together for rural developmentGeorgia’s public and civil sectors work together for rural development

Georgia’s public and civil sectors work together for rural development

EU and UNDP support a discussion series to assess rural development in Georgia in 2017-2020 and set priorities for 2021-2027
BORJOMI. 6 November 2019 – Representatives of the Government of Georgia met members of civil society, local authorities and communities in Borjomi today to give them an account on the progress achieved in rural development under the national strategy 2017-2020 and discuss key priorities areas in 2021-2027. The discussion was organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the support of the European Union under the ENPARD programme, as part of the broader effort to promote rural development in Georgia.  
With the focus on development prospects of the Borjomi municipality, representatives of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure and the National Tourism Administration, informed the discussion participants about the ongoing and planned state-funded programmes in rural regions, stressing the role of the local institutions and the public in setting development priorities and supporting and monitoring their achievement. Some of the issues discussed at the meeting referred to economic and employment opportunities, local business development and the effective protection of the environment and natural resources.  
“State support can boost economy in rural regions and promote economic activities that go beyond agriculture,” said Giorgi Khanishvili, First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture. “Active engagement of civil society is critical for identifying priorities, advocate for common interests and for achieving positive changes.”
The discussion in Borjomi will be followed by the similar events in Kazbegi, Keda and Khulo. All discussions are organized with EU support by UNDP in cooperation with the Georgian non-governmental organization Civil Development Agency (CiDA).
Georgia adopted its first Rural Development Strategy and Action Plan in 2017 with the support of EU and UNDP, setting out national priorities in three key areas related to economic growth and competitiveness, life standards and social conditions, environmental protection and sustainable management of natural resources. In 2018 only, rural development efforts resulted in a range of activities across Georgia benefitting up to 200,000 rural residents. This included the increase in funding for start-up enterprises and young entrepreneurs, improvement of irrigation on 1,440 hectares of land, support to the guesthouses and touristic sites in 40 municipalities, rehabilitation of roads, schools and cultural and sport facilities, construction of public service halls in Akhalkalaki, Martvili, and Senaki, promotion of environmental tourism and environmental education and many other. 
The EU is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 179.5 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to provide economic opportunities in rural area and reduce poverty in Georgia. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge.