Georgia Fact Sheet Jun 2005

News and Press Release
Originally published
CHF/GEII Anticipated Impact
- Providing assistance to over 420 communities;

- Completing nearly 1,000 community investment projects, ranging in value from US$3,000 to US$25,000;

- Providing enhanced service and economic opportunities to over 300,000 people;

- Catalyzing action and developing skills of over 30,000 leaders;

- Creating 12,000+ days of short-term paid labor;

- Creating and sustaining 4,000+ long-term jobs;

Creating Stability through Income and Infrastructure in Georgia

Georgia's transition to a free-market democracy has been accelerated since the Rose Revolution of November 2003. However, economic revival of this former Soviet Republic has yet to take hold. Rural communities, in particular, are isolated from information and resources, and have poor access.

In October 2004, USAID committed $18.8 million dollars to the CHF 5-year Georgia Employment and Infrastructure Initiative (GEII). The project is designed to improve essential infrastructure services and generate income for a socially and economically empowered citizenry in Georgia.

GEII's target beneficiaries are over 420 small, mostly rural communities. CHF international staff members work directly with these communities to improve essential services and economic infrastructure. Communities across Georgia are expanding their organizational capacity through the formation and training of democratically-elected and representative Community Development Councils (CDCs). Coordinating closely with outside businesses, local government, and other development partners, community members take leadership roles, working to prioritize and implement demand-driven economic and social projects that generate income and create long-term jobs for local citizens.

Community investment projects supported by CHF are competitively selected, based on their potential to create and sustain jobs, increase incomes, provide cost savings and stimulate entrepreneurial activity. These projects complement and enable other community-based initiatives undertaken within communities. Investments rehabilitate economic infrastructure, such as irrigation systems, processing facilities, community resource centers, and market centers. GEII further invests in rehabilitating key infrastructure, which has an immediate impact on community livelihoods, including electrical and telephone lines, gas pipelines, potable water systems and key roads and bridges.

In addition, GEII stimulates economic activity by facilitating lending to entrepreneurs and businesses and catalyzing rural-urban commercial activity. This is accomplished through the provision of business development services and partnerships with the private sector, local government and other stakeholders.

In the first year, GEII aims to mobilize 150 communities and implement 250 community investment projects within partner communities.