Georgia remains among the poorest countries of the former Soviet Union. Many of its problems have been exacerbated by the global economic crisis: paid employment is hard to come by, basic services are under-resourced, and social support is insufficient for the most vulnerable people. However, with help from Oxfam and our local partners, things are starting to change.
Georgia currently has a population of approximately 5 million people, ten per cent of which are internally displaced, due to internal conflicts in the early 1990’s and again in August 2008.
Although rapid Government reforms are now taking place, the benefits are failing to reach poor and rural populations. Poverty in Georgia particularly affects women living in the rural areas and small holder farmers. Volatility of food prices threatens the food security and livelihoods of many, already vulnerable and poor people. The Government of Georgia has an opportunity to focus public policies on agriculture with a potential for a triple win – an area for critical growth, food security and poverty reduction.
Oxfam in Georgia
Oxfam’s program in Georgia was originally launched in 1993 to provide emergency relief but by 1999 we phased out much of our emergency relief projects, shifting the focus to longer term development. We work with and through local partners including civil society organizations, NGOs, networks and different levels of the Georgian government.
Oxfam and our partners are helping poor farmers to grow their own vegetables, y providing technical support, seeds, and fertilizers , and to establish trade opportunities with new markets.
Access to quality health services
We support poor rural communities to access basic treatment and medicines at an affordable price through health financing programs.
Disaster risk management
We work with communities to help prepare and reduce the impact of natural disasters, such as landslides and flooding. We have also been developing tools for assessing disaster and vulnerability on a national level.
Women, youths and people affected by conflict
Oxfam is empowering people in poverty to make their voices heard, building the capacity of women and young people in leadership, education and the work place.
We push to keep government institutions accountable for the provision of quality public services and economic opportunities for the poor and vulnerable.