A great achievement in Georgia
It is no secret that Georgians, and particularly Georgia’s poor, have confronted considerable conflict and economic uncertainty during the past few months. Yet, even in the face of this, the country’s resolve to address systemic poverty has not been deterred or diminished. Progress continues on Georgia’s MCC compact, which is primarily focused on rehabilitating infrastructure for transportation, energy, and municipal water services. These infrastructure improvements are creating jobs, facilitating access to markets, boosting trade links, improving travel time, reducing vehicle operating costs, providing communities with a constant supply of potable water, and delivering heat to homes and businesses.
I traveled to Georgia last week and heard from Georgians firsthand about their daunting situation. Despite the difficult times, I also sensed the strong resolve of our Georgian partners to replace poverty with prosperity, and uncertainty with economic stability.
While in Tbilisi, I joined Prime Minister Grigol Mgaloblishvili to sign an amendment to Georgia’s MCC compact that increases MCC’s development assistance under the compact by $100 million, bringing the total to $395 million. This additional funding will be used to complete projects relating to roads, regional infrastructure development, and energy activities. The majority of these projects were part of Georgia’s original concept for its compact, which can now be included and realized with this additional funding. Georgians, who themselves outlined and advocated for these projects as important in reducing poverty and stimulating growth, will build on the compact progress already evident and will use these funds to pave additional roads, build wastewater networks, and make more headway on their country’s national energy strategy. Projects like these will go a long way toward boosting investor confidence in Georgia, contributing to economic stability, and promoting economic growth that will improve the lives of millions of Georgians living in poverty. I invite the public to learn more about this amendment to the U.S. Government’s poverty reduction compact with Georgia through MCC’s web site, where the full set of documentation (including Congressional Notifications, Fact Sheets, Country Status Reports, and other information) is available.
In Paris with Agence Française de Développement
The fight against global poverty requires as many partners as possible. No nation, or donor organization, can shoulder or effectively tackle this problem alone. That’s why en route to Tbilisi, I met in Paris with my counterpart in the French government to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Agence Française de Développement (AFD). The French share America’s commitment to eradicating global poverty, and this MOU memorializes the intent to deepen in-country cooperation between our two development agencies in sectors such as microfinance, land tenure, legal and judicial reform, transportation infrastructure, and agriculture in countries where we are both working. Especially in places such as Africa, this enhanced cooperation will make our poverty reduction efforts more effective. We had an early example of this cooperation last month when MCC and AFD co-sponsored a workshop for African countries to share lessons learned regarding land policy.
Results-oriented partnerships between MCC and partner countries like Georgia and between MCC and other donors like AFD will lead to improvements in the lives of the world’s poor in ways that matter for their long-term prosperity.