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CARE project links IDPs with the world around them

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, September 17
On September 15 a presentation of the work of the Stabilisation and Integration of IDPs into Mainstream Georgian Society (SIIMS) project was held at the Sheraton Metechi Palace.

The project, financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a total budget of NOK 19,000,000 (2.9 Million USD), is being jointly implemented by CARE Norway and CARE International in the Caucasus along with partner organisations Civil Development Agency (CiDA) in Georgia, the Consent IDP Women’s Association and the Centre for Training and Consultancy (CTC). It aims to help IDPs displaced after the August 2008 war and locally impacted communities integrate into their new environment, using socio-economic opportunities to reduce poverty and conflict aligned to local government services and structures.

The Project Manager of SIIMS, Vakhtang Piranishvili, stated that together with unemployment one of the major issues facing IDPs is integration with the rest of Georgian society. “Certainty the employment problem is the most important. However, we should not disregard the integration issue, which has already emerged between new settlement residents and neighbouring rural communities,” Piranishvili stated.

Within the programme CARE focuses on creating socio-economic ties between local communities and IDPs through encouraging the employment of IDPs by local businesses and investment in IDP settlements. Piranishvili said that the project addresses existing and new integration issues amongst the 10,000 "new" IDPs residing in Shida Kartli and Kvemo Kartli. “We have grouped the series of activities into six thematic areas of intervention: income generation, infrastructure development, information sharing and cooperation with local government, civil society strengthening, psycho-social support and capacity building. In addition, we also aim to finance women business start-ups,” he said.

The presentation was attended by Minister of Refugees and Accommodation Koba Subeliani, who highlighted the Government’s work in this field, saying that the authorities do everything necessary to help war affected people. He agreed however that more should be done. “The Georgian Government has built cottages and provided the war affected families with furniture. However, much more needs to be done to integrate IDPs into mainstream society and ensure their further development. As a Minister I set my hopes on projects such as these. As time passes people will realise more and more what they lost in the war and this feeling will not disappear. Nevertheless, we and our foreign colleagues, NGOs and society as whole should continue our work to improve their lot”, Subeliani said.

The project was launched in July 2009 and will last for 3 years.