The Federal Foreign Office Deputy Director-General responsible for Civilian Crisis Prevention and Humanitarian Aid, Dr Georg Birgelen, today (23 October) handed over 300 prefabricated, winterproof houses to the Georgian Government in Gori/Georgia. The aim is to provide permanent accommodation for residents of South Ossetia displaced by the armed conflict in Georgia at the beginning of August 2008, who cannot return to their home towns for the foreseeable future. The Federal Government is thereby responding to a request from the Georgian Government to implement pilot projects which can serve as models for further necessary humanitarian aid measures on the part of the international community.
The prefabricated houses have been financed by Federal Foreign Office funds for crisis prevention and conflict management and offer accommodation for up to 1300 persons. The Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH was given the task of building the houses and Georgian companies were included in the planning and construction. Work first started on 23 January 2009.
The houses will be handed over to those affected free of charge for one year in the first instance and subsequently offered for purchase at the symbolic price of 1 Lari. A joint German-Georgian commission will decide on the distribution of houses to the displaced persons.
At present an additional sum of 1.7 million euro is also being made available to provide for the basic equipment of the houses with furniture and for measures to integrate displaced persons into their new environment.
All in all since the armed conflict in August 2008, the Federal Foreign Office has so far provided Georgia with over 2 million euro for immediate humanitarian relief, including mine clearance, as well as 12 million euro for conflict management measures.