Norway contributes to reconstruction and further reforms in Georgia

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"Norway's total civil support of NOK 235 million for the period 2008-2010 will be of great help to Georgia in the difficult situation that has arisen in the wake of the conflict in August," said Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre.

On 22 October, the European Commission and the World Bank are holding a donor conference for Georgia in Brussels. The purpose of the conference is to raise support for reconstruction and further development in Georgia following the conflict in August this year. Sixty-five countries have been invited to take part. The Norwegian delegation will be led by Political Director Vegard Ellefsen.

"The funding provided by Norway will primarily be directed to the sectors where Norway is particularly well qualified to contribute, and where the Georgian authorities are asking for Norway's assistance," continued Mr Støre.

The need for humanitarian assistance is great, and this is an area where Norway has long been actively engaged, mainly through the efforts of the Norwegian Refugee Council over many years.

"Humanitarian assistance for internally displaced persons will continue to be a key area for Norwegian efforts. In addition, Norway will, through the Norwegian Refugee Council, help to clear unexploded ordnance that has been left behind after the conflict in August," said Mr Støre.

Norway will also help to promote good governance, primarily through justice sector reform, which will involve advisory services from Norwegian legal experts from the Crisis Response Pool. A third priority area for cooperation is energy, with particular focus on the development of Georgia's significant hydropower resources. Facilitating socially and environmentally sustainable development of the country's hydropower resources can give an important boost to Georgia's economic development, and this is a field where Norway has particular expertise.

"It is positive that the World Bank and other actors have sat down with the Georgian authorities and discussed the country's needs, and that we can thus ensure that international support is better harmonised and aligned," concluded Mr Støre.