2020: Difficult Year Brings Out the Best in U.S.-Georgian Partnership

Georgia is the largest non-NATO contributor to missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and as such our military partnership is robust and diverse.

In 2020, despite the challenge of COVID-19, the U.S. Embassy continued to deepen our partnership with Georgia across a range of areas. We continue to work together towards a prosperous, stable, and democratic Georgia integrated into Euro-Atlantic institutions. In particular, the dedicated team of professionals at the embassy worked to partner with Georgia on COVID-19 response, health, justice and law enforcement, development, economic growth, defense, cultural preservation, and education issues.  

COVID-19 Response and Health 

The U.S. assistance topped $20 million in Georgia’s COVID-19 response which was distributed across the country. Our assistance combined efforts from USAID, Centers for Disease Control, Department of Defense, and the Department of State.  

In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Preservation entered its fifth year in partnership with Public Health of Georgia to identify and prevent micronutrient deficiencies in pregnant women and infants. The resulting ability to detect early iron and folate deficiencies has improved infant morta
The U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency donated five generators to the National Food Agency’s regional offices. The generators support cold chain units to increase the National Food Agency’s ability to protect lab materials, keeping samples, vaccines, and other supplies in proper conditions en rout

Justice and Law Enforcement 

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, in cooperation with Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, seized $1 million dollars worth of heroin.  

In one instance, the DEA helped the MOIA’s Drug Transit Unit, investigate and seize 40 kilograms of heroin in Batumi.

In addition, the Embassy’s Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) held the Ninth Annual Women in Policing Conference, which brought together women law enforcement officials from around the world. To date, more than 1,100 women have graduated the program.

Participants of the Ninth Annual Women in Policing Conference. March 2020

The Department of Justice Resident Legal Advisor taught Georgian law enforcement partners skills, techniques, and best practices on how to prosecute online child sexual exploitation, cybercrime, and to provide victim services to child victims. This resulted in the bust of a child pornography ring. 

As a result, an international child pornography ring with 13 offenders from Georgia, the U.S., and other foreign countries were successfully prosecuted.

Development and Economic Growth 

In 2020, USAID programs trained over 150,000 individuals, transferred agricultural technologies to 46,000 smallholders, facilitated $20 million in new sales, created over 3,000 full-time equivalent jobs, benefited more than 40,000 microenterprises, and leveraged $5.5 million in new private sector investments. 

Currently, USAID has 35 programs in Georgia with a total value of over $242 million. Through these programs, the United States supports Georgia’s transition to a free and prosperous democracy, including initiatives designed to strengthen economic security, improve the business enabling environment, and reduce the risk of conflict.

USAID has provided over $1.5 billion to Georgia since 1999, when USAID’s Mission presence in Georgia was established. Since 2007, USAID played a vital role in supporting Georgia’s development.
As part of the Embassy’s effort to promote prosperity, the Office of the Treasury worked with the National Bank of Georgia to increase access to finance for companies in Georgia through both local debt and equity capital markets. Treasury also worked with the National Bank and other government offic

 

Defense 

Over the last year, the Embassy’s Office of Defense Cooperation has worked with our Georgian partners to complete 12 projects worth $2.5 million dollars. 

Georgia is the largest non-NATO contributor to missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and as such our military partnership is robust and diverse.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has partnered with Georgian agencies to implement $500,000 worth of projects, from COVID response to border security, and Cyber Crime prevention.

The Export Control and Border Security Office helped modernize Georgia’s Coast Guard English Learning Labs with new technology equipment and course materials. The main lab is now housed in the newly opened Vocational Training Center of the Batumi State Maritime Academy in Poti and will offer state-of-the-art English Language Training for Coast Guard personnel.

U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration contributed more than $3 million to assist refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, vulnerable stranded migrants, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and conflict-affected populations. 

In 2020, we funded efforts to find durable solutions, create livelihood opportunities, respond to COVID-related needs, and assist survivors of gender-based violence. We also supported small grants to local NGOs to respond to humanitarian needs.

Cultural Preservation and Education 

Through the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, the Embassy awarded $600,000 to refurbish and preserve over 1200 meters of Jvari Monastery’s façade.

Since 2011, the Embassy has provided more than $2 million to organize professional study and reporting tours, and short-term internships for Georgian print and broadcast journalists as well as for media educators. More than 200 media professionals have participated, helping to enhance the business and journalism skills of independent Georgian media outlets to improve their sustainability and professionalism, and to ensure they continue to play a positive role in informing their fellow citizens.