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Tbilisi hosted first Solidarity and Innovation International Forum

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, December 17
Georgia’s capital Tbilisi hosted the first Solidarity and Innovation International Forum on December 15, brought together by top Georgian and foreign officials.

Discussing the activities of the Georgian Government-initiated Solidarity Fund for children and adults with serious health problems was high on the agenda of the forum, which was opened by Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and attended by Deputy United Nations (UN) General Secretary Philippe Douste-Blazy, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director for Policy and Programme for UN Women, Yannick Glemarec, and many other local and foreign guests.

Speaking about the Solidarity Fund created in August 2014, Georgia’s PM stressed that more than 55,000 public servants and 23 private companies had donated to the fund to help children and adults suffering from cancer.

“Through our joint efforts we have accumulated 4, 700,000 GEL and financed the treatment of 182 children and adults up to 22 years-old. A total of 94 out of 182 had been sent abroad for necessary medical interferences,” Garibashvili said.

The PM stressed it was only the current Government which has shown such goodwill and intent to help its people, as no one cared about such problems three years ago.

“Three years ago, the Health Ministry budget consisted 1,800,000 GEL; now it has reached 3,1 billion GEL,” Garibashvili added.

The country’s top politician then highlighted Georgia’s General Healthcare Programme covering medical expenses for all Georgians in the Hepatitis C Elimination Programme.

The PM emphasised that such large-scale medical support for citizens “was unique”.

“Soon the 200,000 of our citizens suffering from Hepatitis C will be totally cured due to this unprecedented programme. The state budget covers every expense of treatment, which amounts to about $85,000 USD for each patient,” Garibashvili announced.

Prior to his meeting with UN officials within the forum, the Georgian PM thanked his foreign guests for participating in the one-day event and stressed that Douste-Blazy was one of the world acclaimed leaders in the field of financing innovations.

During his private meeting with Garibashvili, Douste-Blazy praised the Georgian Solidarity Fund’s successful performance and welcomed the fund’s membership in the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development under the Foreign Ministry of France.

Both sides highlighted the fact that Georgia’s presence on the international platform would enable the country to share the most modern approaches in the medical field.

The Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development is a global platform made up of 55 member countries with differing levels of development, operating alongside various international organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Formerly known as the Leading Group on Solidarity Levies to Fund Development, the Leading Group seeks to promote the implementation and definition of innovative financing mechanisms around the world.