Expatica countries
Index Last Var.(%)
BEL 20 3083.51 0.32
DAX 9605.08 0.17
IBEX 30 10058.5 -1.04
CAC 40 4387.61 -0.20
FTSE 100 6806.86 -0.05
AEX 397.5 -0.20
DJIA 16272.65 0.46
Nasdaq 4318.933 0.63
FTSE MIB 20298.33 -0.11
TSX Composite 14214.35 0.18
ASX 5415.4 -0.10
Hang seng 22836.96 0.04
Straits Times 3110.78 0.45
ISEQ 20 836.3 0.23
EUR / USD 1.37976 0.67
EUR / GBP 0.82571 0.59
USD / GBP 0.598544 -0.10
Gold 1329.6 -0.13
Oil 108.9 -0.76
Silver 21.28 0.08
You are here: Home News European News Surprisingly large financial aid package pledged to Georgia
Enlarge font Decrease font Text size

23/10/2008Surprisingly large financial aid package pledged to Georgia

Within the next three years, Georgia stands to arguably gain as much financial assistance as it will offer leeway to energy hungry Europe.

Brussels -- Georgia was pledged an unexpectedly generous amount of 4.5 billion dollars by some 40 countries and 15 international organizations attending a donors' conference in Brussels on Wednesday.

The amount, which is to be paid over a three year period, is to help Georgia recover from its 5-day war with Russia.

The total amount far exceeded the 3.2 billion dollars that the World Bank had estimated Georgia would need to rebuild its infrastructure, settle its refugees and get its economy back on track.

"We are deeply moved and humbled by the demonstration of solidarity and support that we have received," said Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze, noting that the pledges were being made as governments around the world were struggling to contain the effects of a global financial crisis.

The Georgian leader also moved to reassure foreign taxpayers that the aid would not be misspent.

"Every single, euro, dollar and pound will make Georgia stronger, more prosperous, freer, more democratic and more genuinely and thoroughly European,” said Gurgenidze. “(It) will alleviate, to a significant degree, the human suffering that has resulted in the aftermath of the Aug. 7 conflict."

"This is a day of joy," said EU External Affairs Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, who jointly hosted the conference with the World Bank.

This year's growth projections for Georgia's economy have been cut from 9 percent to 3.5 percent. This is as a result of the August conflict, which produced 127,000 new internally displaced people in and around the separatist enclaves of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

At the start of the conference, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said European countries had "a moral imperative" to help their neighbors in need.

However, experts say other considerations also play a key role.

Presently, two pipelines carrying oil and gas from the Caspian region to Turkey cross Georgia. In an effort to reduce its energy dependency on Russia, the EU is working on extending the Baku-Erzurum pipeline with a planned Nabucco pipeline that will eventually deliver gas Austria.

Furthermore, the EU seeks to bring Georgia closer to Europe by providing visa facilities to its citizens and arranging a free-trade deal with the government.

Notably, Russia was not invited to Wednesday's conference.

Of the total pledged on Wednesday, 2 billion dollars will be in grants and the remaining in low-interest loans covering the 2008-10 period, officials said. Most of the money will go to Georgia's public sector, with some 850 million dollars being invested directly in private companies.

The United States and the European Commission emerged as the biggest single contributors, respectively providing 1 billion dollars and "up to" 500 million euros (642 million dollars) each.

And while not all countries wished to divulge their individual contributions, diplomats in Brussels said Germany had pledged 33.7 million euros to add to a pre-war offer of 35 million euros.

Sweden ranked high in the list of most generous donors with 40 million euros while France, whose president brokered the peace deal that ended the conflict, pledged 7 million euros.

World Bank Vice-President Shigeo Katsu said it was now important for countries to move on from pledges to actual disbursements and to getting projects on the ground started.



0 reactions to this article

0 reactions to this article

Discussion Forums

Groups & Clubs in Belgium

Get Real/Novelty Passports, Drivers Licenses and ID cards

Family in Belgium

Get Real/Novelty Passports, Drivers Licenses and ID cards

Travel & Transport in Belgium

Get Real/Novelty Passports, Drivers Licenses and ID cards

Personal Finance in Belgium

Get Real/Novelty Passports, Drivers Licenses and ID cards

Legal Issues in Belgium

Get Real/Novelty Passports, Drivers Licenses and ID cards

participate in the forums

Inside Expatica
Looking for work in Belgium

Looking for work in Belgium

This handy guide from Expertise in Labour Mobility includes how to write a CV, application procedure, interview dos and don'ts, Belgian management culture.

Practical, easy-to-use, free and... in English

Practical, easy-to-use, free and... in English

Belgium’s first alternative directory assistance services - available through the shortcode 14-14 - can now be accessed on the internet.

Finding a rental home in Belgium

Finding a rental home in Belgium

Moving to Belgium presents a host of challenges to expats, not least of all finding the right home.

Learning to cope with life abroad

Learning to cope with life abroad

The psychological effects of global mobility can be physically painful.