In Brussels today (22.10) the European Commission and the World Bank are hosting an international donor conference for Georgia. The goal of the conference is to secure comprehensive aid to rectify the material, economic and social consequences of the armed conflict that took place in August of this year. The Federal Government approved a total of just under 34 million euro for 2008-2009 in addition to the current development programme. The government is represented at today's conference by Gernot Erler, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, and Erich Stather, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
21.5 million euro of the approved funds will come from the BMZ budget, with another 12.2 million stemming from the Federal Foreign Office's budget. The German aid package focuses specifically on building housing for refugees, providing resources for the rehabilitation of communal infrastructure and supporting small banks in granting loans to start-up businesses. The resources are above all intended to benefit the refugees and displaced persons most severely affected by the conflict.
The Federal Republic of Germany is one of Georgia's important European partners and the largest European donor in bilateral development cooperation. But at the same time in Brussels, Minister of State Erler and State Secretary Stather called for further democratic and rule of law reforms in Georgia. Germany is ready to support the country along this path, they went on to say. The Federal Government also emphasized how important the regional perspective is for stabilizing Georgia. Only when neighbouring states are included in a cooperative process will it be possible to achieve lasting stability and sustainable development in the Southern Caucasus.