U.S. Ambassador Launched New Economic Opportunities Initiative in Georgia
U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, John Bass joined the governor of the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region, Mr. Tsezar Chocheli, government representatives and community members in the village of Kvesheti to officially launch the New Economic Opportunities (NEO) project in Georgia. NEO is a $20.5 million four-year U.S. Government program designed to improve rural incomes, reduce poverty levels, improve food security, and address water constraints in targeted communities. The program will also help communities of internally displaced persons to work cooperatively on shared issues. Over the next four years, the NEO project aims to benefit at least 70,000 rural and vulnerable households in ten municipalities: Dusheti, Stepantsminda, Kareli, Gori, Khashuri, Oni, Tsageri, Lentekhi, Zugdidi, Tsalenjikha. The program is administered through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
At the event, Ambassador Bass joined a community meeting in Kvesheti to discuss the NEO project, answered questions, and met local entrepreneurs and community representatives. NEO is designed to help municipalities and communities like Kvesheti to identify and implement infrastructure projects that have direct economic benefits, to facilitate the attraction of investments, and to develop links between the communities and larger economic markets. It will also provide grants, training, and technical assistance to the communities. Overall, the project will follow opportunities to support increased growth, employment, and household incomes.
Through NEO and other projects, the U.S. Government is supporting inclusive economic growth, poverty reduction, improved local governance, and regional stability through regional economic development initiatives focused on livelihoods, the number one concern in rural areas of Georgia.
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