On July 10, 2020, under the EU-funded ENPARD project, Local Action Group Upper Svaneti, Mayor’s office of Mestia municipality and CARE signed memorandum of cooperation. The memorandum facilitates the creation of sustainable mechanisms of cooperation and coordination between the public and civil sectors. In particular, it will ensure joint, timely, efficient and transparent implementation of the community infrastructure rehabilitation projects selected and approved for financing within the framework of the EU-funded ENPARD grant competition and rural support program of Mestia municipality.
The memorandum was signed by George Glonti-Mission Director of CARE in the Caucasus, Kapiton Jorjolian-the mayor of Mestia municipality and Irma Japaridze, member of LAG managing board.
The memorandum ceremony was attended by HE Ambassador Arad Benkö, Ambassador of Austria in Georgia, who paid an official visit in Mestia municipality, under the GRETA project, funded by the EU, the Austrian Development Cooperation and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. Mr. Ambassador also received information about the current grant competition under the ENPARD project and the support scheme for community initiatives.
The event was important in deepening the cooperation between civil and public sectors of LAG Upper Svaneti, which is one of the essential parts of the European LEADER approach. This will support LAG to play a role of a certain bridge between rural communities and a local government thus replicating the EU LEADER model in the area.
“With support from the European people, an important project is implemented in the Upper Svaneti region, which aims at sustainable development of Mestia municipality. This memorandum will facilitate formation of conditions for long-term sustainable development in the region through a tight cooperation mechanism. We are glad that CARE, having worked in the Upper Svaneti region for a long-time, still continues its support to Upper Svaneti, by supporting tourism, infrastructure and agricultural development projects”-stated George Glonti, mission director of CARE International in the Caucasus.
The vice-president of Local Action Group Upper Svaneti and the member of LAG managing board, Irma Japaridze thinks that this memorandum is a vivid example that the local action group represents the effective and participatory mechanism for solving particular rural and territorial-administrative social economic and infrastructural problems; “On behalf of LAG, I’m happy that we are honored and happy to be part of very important and healthy processes for the development of Svaneti”-said Irma Japaridze.
“Today, civic sector, public sector and our donors gathered to sign a cooperation memorandum for development of our region. I’d like to thank our partners and donors: European Union, Austrian Embassy, CARE Austria. I hope that very soon we will see the successful results from our common projects”-stated Kapiton ZhorZholiani, the mayor of Mestia municipality.
The project, “Implementing LEADER in Mestia municipality for better livelihoods in high mountainous regions of Georgia”, under the EU-funded ENPARD III program, is ran in the municipality of Mestia by Care Austria in partnership with PMC-Research Center. Based on the European LEADER approach, the project aims to improve diversification and competitiveness of the rural economy, supports the involvement of vulnerable groups, especially women and the youth, and the sustainable management of natural resources.
The EU is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD Programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 179.5 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to provide economic opportunities in rural areas and reduce poverty in Georgia. More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge