MCC to assess results on the ground
28 October, 2010
MCC to assess results on the ground

To see progress on Georgia’s USD 395.3 million compact focused on rehabilitation of key regional infrastructure and developing of enterprises in rural Georgia, Daniel W. Yohannes, Chief Executive Officer of US government-supported Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) paid a 3-days visit to Georgia.
The MCC supported five-year compact of Millennium Challenge Georgia Fund (MCG) started in 2006 and is designed to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth in region via five projects as following: energy infrastructure rehabilitation project, regional infrastructure development project, Samtskhe-Javakhseti road rehabilitation project, Agribusiness Development Activity (ADA), and Georgia regional development fund project.
Via these five projects the USD 395.3 million compact will rehabilitate key regional infrastructure by improving transportation for regional trade, ensuring reliable supply of energy, and improving the delivery of regional and municipal services. In addition, the program will develop enterprises by funding investment and increasing productivity in farms, agribusinesses, and other enterprises to increase jobs and rural income.
The MCG compact nears to completion and MCC CEO visited Georgia to assess whether or not the money of US tax-payers is spent effectively. During his stay in Georgia from October 20 to 22 of 2010 Mr. Yohannes met with Mikheil Saakashvili, the President of Georgia, and Nika Gilauri, the Prime Minister of Georgia.
MCC CEO travelled to Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti, southern regions of Georgia, to see progress on the road project. The MCC-funded Samtkshe-Javakheti Road Rehabilitation Project (of USD 203.5 million worth project) intends to improve the transportation network in two regions by rehabilitating 220 kilometres of road connecting central Georgia to Turkey and Armenia.
Samtskhe-Javakheti region, a famous tourist haunt [for the region is rich in historical monuments tracing back to early Christianity epoch]] as well as one of the potential parts of Georgia from agriculture and cattle breeding point of view has been completely torn from the other parts of Georgia due to absence of road infrastructure. Now it is supposed to be fully integrated in the social and economic life of the country after the 223-kilometers long road will be rehabilitated. And if one needs 9 hour to travel to the region in question at the moment, the time is expected to be cut down to 3 hours thus enabling local population to supply the rest part of Georgia with their high quality product on the one hand, and encourage tourists inflow to  the region famous with picturesque scenes as well.
The US

Ambassador to Georgia John Bass, along with top Georgian officials and Millennium Challenge Georgia (MCG) CEO George Abdushelisvhili, accompanied the high guest in the trip. The delegation stressed on importance of Samtskhe-Javakheti region particularly.
“This is an important project. This is a Samtskhe-Javakheti road, a new road, which starts from Tbilisi and passes through Tsalka and reaches Samtskhe-Javakheti region… It also crosses two borders, of Ninotsminda and Kartsakhi. In fact, this road enables the Region to more actively involve in economic activities” , Kakha Baindurashvili, Minister of Finances of Georgia, stated at the Cave City of Vardzia press event on October 21, 2010.
According to the US Ambassador, activities carried out in terms of infrastructure and business development enables to witness direct benefit imposed to people of different regions of Georgia.
“I would particularly emphasize the Samtskhe-Javakheti region. After completing the [Samtkshe-Javakheti Road Rehabilitation] Project, the Javakheti population will be able to link to both the capital and the neighboring countries [Armenia and Turkey] that, in the end, will lead to Georgia’s growth,” he said. 
The delegation also visited agribusinesses and beneficiaries of MCG’s USD 20.2 million Agribusiness Development Activity located along the newly rehabilitated road and met the beneficiaries of the Borjomi and Bakuriani municipal water supply projects funded through the Regional Infrastructure Development Project (USD 57.7 million) managed by the Municipal Development Fund of Georgia.
The MCG initial compact was USD 295 million but USD 100 million was allocated in the wake of the August war of 2008 to support Georgia to shoot aftermaths of the war. And total budget became USD 395 million. Georgian Prime Minister who held a press conference at the Government Chancellery of Georgia after his meeting with the MCC CEO on October 22, 2010 accentuated that these funds have been used for implementation of number of important projects - for energy and road infrastructure rehabilitation, as well as for agriculture and small business development that create additional 3 thousand new jobs.
“This is a huge support of the US Government to the Georgian Government provided by MCC for the whole of this period and I would like to thank, first of all, Mr. Yohannes and everyone who has taken part in this Project”, Gilauri stated at press-conference on October 22, 2010.
The MCC CEO gave a positive assessment to the MCG compact implementation.
“I would like to thank the President of Georgia, the Prime Minister of Georgia and the whole Georgian government for all those results that I personally saw on the ground. For all these achievements I extend the gratitude on behalf of the President Obama and the US Government. The US grant funds were used for the road, energy, agriculture and small business development. Sustainability of the projects funded by us is guaranteed as long as beneficiaries, meaning people that we gave funds to, will continue receiving income from their businesses for additional 8 years”, Mr. Yohannes deduced.

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