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37 more villages in high mountain regions to enjoy state benefits

Monday, July 24
Georgia has updated its list of alpine villages, meaning the locals of an additional 37 villages can enjoy special benefits guaranteed by the Mountain Law.

It means that teachers, doctors, pensioners and socially vulnerable families living in the high mountainous villages will have extra benefits from the state, while the companies will be released from certain bills.

“This law will significantly change the conditions of people living in our mountainous regions, not only in terms of preserving them there but I also think a lot of people will return [to their villages],” Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirilashvili said.

Locals abandoning mountain areas has been an issue for Georgia for decades. Mountain populations tend to leave their homes and migrate to bigger cities to pursue better job opportunities and salaries.

According to 2002 figures, 164 villages in Georgia were deserted and 152 villages were barely inhabited, with 10 families or less. The creation of the Mountain Law aimed to curb this.

The Parliament of Georgia adopted a new law on Development of Mountainous Regions in July 2015, which aimed to encourage people to live and work in the country’s mountainous regions.

The law also encouraged people to live and work in the country’s mountainous regions, and offered greater support to those who did so.

People living in Georgia’s mountain areas first enjoyed the benefits from January 1, 2016 when the new mountain law came into force.

The decision to enlarge the list of mountainous villages was announced in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi yesterday.