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New foundation will finance civil projects

By Etuna Tsotniashvili
Wednesday, May 20
The Georgian President has asked the Minister of Penitentiary, Probation and Legal Assistance, Dimitri Shashkin, to establish a special foundation designed to reinforce civil society in Georgia. Through this foundation each interested NGO would be able to get involved in resolving the problems that exist in Georgian society.

At a press conference held on May 19 Shashkin said that in the new foundation a council of directors would determine the concrete priorities to be pursued from among the ideas suggested to it and then finance them. “The money will come from the state budget, donor organizations and international organisations. This money has already been set aside as part of the second wave of reforms,” Shashkin stated.

The Minister said that the major task is to ensure that civil society is involved in addressing the problems the country faces as the role of civil society in solving these problems is very important. “Various regions have different problems, so concrete plans will be implemented in concrete regions. The foundation will work jointly with the state to solve problems,” Shashkin said, adding that the members of the foundation will be NGOs and representatives of the Parliamentary minority and majority.

Shashkin stated at the briefing that he had also been asked to conduct some consultations. “I have been assigned to conduct consultations with the Parliamentary majority and minority, experts and NGOs to convince them to appoint representatives to the board of this foundation. I will meet them next week. We hope that by the end of June the foundation will begin to operate,” Dimitri Shashkin told reporters yesterday.