Various

For Which Spheres Is the US Funding Used?

9 June, 2021

On May 29, the Leader of Georgian March, Sandro Bregadze, stated on air at TV Obiektivi that the major part of funding, sent to Georgia, is used to finance anti-Georgian and anti-national NGOs, whose main fight vector is aimed at the Georgian Orthodox Church. Bregadze also claims that it would be nice, if these funds were allocated for education, humanitarian aid, and social issues, but it is only the “evil anti-national NGOs” that use up the grants. Nino Ratishvili, the TV Obiektivi host, added that it had already been announced that the funds, allocated to Georgia as aid, will be used for media and plurality of political forces.

Bregadze’s comment followed the signing of a USD 67 million grant agreement between Georgia and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on May 21.

On May 19, two days before the signing of the agreement, the host at TV Obiektivi’s program Studio N8 and one of the leaders of the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia, Irma Inashvili, spoke about the funding allocated by the West to Georgia and claimed that the Western aid is actually allocated to fight the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, not to help Georgian people.

The claims by the hosts and the respondents of TV Obiektivi about the US funding being allocated to fight the Church and not being used for the well-being of Georgian people are manipulative and interpret facts incorrectly. In fact, the aid allocated by the Government of the United States to Georgia includes various sectors, such as agriculture, education, economy, democracy and human rights. The aid to be allocated by the US in the coming years includes the same and even more sectors.

The table includes the amount of funding allocated by the US to Georgia for education, peace, economy, democracy and human rights between 2008-2021.

 

Year

Education

Democracy and Human Rights

Economy

Peace 

Total

2008 

$3.50 mln.   

$14.40 mln.    

$9.96 mln.  

$25.42 mln. 

$ 64.32 mln.

2009 

$65.02 mln.    

$34.85 mln.   

$131.90 mln.   

$41.00 mln.

 $ 309.55 mln.

2010

$2.02 mln.   

$20.37mln.   

$17.27 mln.

$ 26.36 mln.

$83.05 mln.

2011

$2.02 mln.   

$24.15 mln.   

$21.43 mln.

$25.69 mln.

$90.09 mln.

2012

$2.02 mln.   

$24.50 mln.   

$17.10 mln.

$24.93 mln.

$87.61 mln.

2013

$2.00 mln.   

$22.44 mln.   

$10.77 mln.

$21.75 mln.

$68.70 mln.

2014

$2.97 mln.   

$21.96 mln.   

$10.72 mln.

$18.38 mln.

$62.03 mln.

2015

$1.30 mln.   

$21.11 mln.   

$6.27 mln.

$36.85 mln.

$75.07 mln.

2016

$200.00 k.

$21.25 mln.   

$5.92 mln.

$32.55 mln.

$77.15 mln.

2017

$200.00 k.

$26.87 mln.   

$10.22 mln.

$33.14 mln.

$90.33 mln.

2018

$235.00 k.

$15.02 mln.   

$2.71 mln.

$8.64 mln.

$34.10 mln.

2019

$1.70 mln.

$12.86 mln.

$4.87 mln. 

$7.84 mln.

$31.10 mln.

2020

$2.23 mln.

$16.91 mln.

$1.41 mln.

$25.04 mln.

$63.70 mln.

2021

$2.23 mln.

$16.81 mln.

$2.42 mln.

$24.94 mln.

$63.50 mln.

Source: foreignassistance.gov 

The website of the USAID includes the list of the projects, implemented in Georgia with the support of the organization. The table includes information on the aid allocated to agricultural, entrepreneurial, and education sectors in the recent years.

Direction

Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agricultural

An agricultural program, implemented in partnership with CNFA, that enables producers and processors to add value through modern production, processing, storage, and distribution techniques, while building regional and international market linkages.

Georgia Hazelnut Improvement Program (G-HIP), implemented in partnership with CNFA, which aims to advance the development of Georgia’s hazelnut sector, increase the quality and quantity of Georgian hazelnut production, improve processing capabilities, and establish market linkages that will allow smallholder growers to reach lucrative end markets.

Potato program, in partnership with the International Potato Center (CIP), aims to develop a domestic supply chain of high-yielding, disease resistant potatoes that are commercially attractive, from generating high quality seed through improved production quantity and quality. The project also helps farmers generate higher revenues and supply to local and international markets.

Integrated Pest Management Activity in Abkhazia, which aims to increase the capacity of farmers in occupied Abkhazia to adopt and implement integrated pest management techniques against the most widespread agricultural pests and diseases.

 

 

Entrepreneurial

Zrda project, in partnership with Chemonics International, aims to catalyze economic growth in rural areas by supporting Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises  to grow into profitable businesses capable of providing employment opportunities.

Supporting Youth and Women Entrepreneurship in Georgia (YES Georgia), in partnership with Crystal Fund, supports economic growth and empowers Georgia’s youth and women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Educational 

Momavlis Taoba project, in partnership with Harmony Inc., promotes greater civic engagement among young people and expands and institutionalizes secondary school civic education curricula through practical applications.

Basic Education program, in partnership with RTI International, promotes innovative approaches to learning, and supports the implementation of sustainable, inclusive, and student-centered education reforms.

Besides the USAID-funded educational programs, the US provides annual funding through Fulbright program, which allows the citizens of Georgia to do their master’s or postdoctoral studies in the US universities, and provides funding for advanced professional training to faculty members.

The US Department of State provides funding through the Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX), providing an opportunity for Georgian secondary school students in the 9th, 10th, and 11th grades to study at an American high school and to live with an American host family.

Ten American corners have been opened in various regions of Georgia. They allow locals to improve their English skills, get information on educational programs, and organizes discussions and various events. Visitors have access to up to 6,000 books, games, and miscellaneous technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace/Conflict resolution

Youth-Led Civic Dialogue and Action, in partnership with International Alert, boosts youth-led civic activism among youth living in occupied Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia and normalizes relationships across the dividing line.

Horizons - Strengthening Community Resilience in Abkhazia, in partnership with UNDP, expands opportunities for dialogue and confidence building between youth, professional groups, civil society organizations, and associations in Abkhazia and those in Tbilisi Administered Territory.

Empowering Youth for Peace, in partnership with Europe Foundation, fosters initial intra-community cohesion within Russian-occupied Abkhazia and bridges the dividing Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) with Tbilisi Administered Territories by linking youth living in occupied Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia, around common interests and concerns.

 

 

Enhancement of Public and Healthcare Services

Independent Living Program (ILP), in partnership with MAC Georgia, promotes the independent living model for people with disabilities so that they can participate more fully in Georgian society. The activity works with local governments in six Georgian municipalities.

Physical Rehabilitation in Georgia, in partnership with Emory University School of Medicine, aims to expand Georgian citizens’ access to quality, affordable physical rehabilitation services and assistive technologies.


The information about the entrepreneurs, farmers, and other participants, funded within the aforementioned projects, is periodically published on the Facebook page of the USAID too. For instance, it includes information about the projects, such as Digital Day in the Life of Georgia, which aims to promote tourism, Potato Program, hazelnut production, berry production, jam production, AgroStop (promotion of agricultural tourism), production of dried bay leaves, funding of a flower greenhouse, production of plastic-alternative packaging etc.

The posts, given below, include the stories of the farmers and entrepreneurs that managed to improve their business and production with the help of the USAID.

 

The posts, given below, include the stories of the farmers and entrepreneurs that managed to improve their business and production with the help of the USAID.

Therefore, the statement by Sandro Bregadze that the Western grants only finance “evil anti-national NGOs” is not true. Against the background of the allocation of USD 330 million in the next five years by the United States to Georgia, it is manipulative to talk about this funding being channeled to the NGO sector and, therefore, to the “fight against the Church”. Such claims aim to sow anti-Western and anti-American sentiments.

This is not the first case, when TV Obiektivi, Alliance of Patriots of Georgia, or other pro-Russian actors spread disinformation about the funding allocated by the US to Georgia. For instance, prior disinformation included claims about the US not investing in Georgia and not funding programs at all. Disinformation about NGOs has also been disseminated – it claimed that they did not react to human rights abuses during the rule of the United National Movement. You can read more about these topics in the following articles by Myth Detector:


Prepared by Teona Khurtsilava and Keti Khutsishvili
Myth Detector Lab


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