USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick's Travel To Georgia

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For Immediate Release

Monday, February 3, 2020
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email:

The following is attributable to Acting Spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala:

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick visited Georgia from January 30 - February 2, 2020.

Deputy Administrator Glick met with a wide range of government officials to demonstrate USAID's enduring support for Georgia's democratic development. Throughout her visit, the Deputy Administrator reinforced USAID's commitment to assisting Georgia in its efforts to counter the Kremlin's malign influence, which represents a direct threat to Georgia's sovereignty. She emphasized that USAID is helping Georgia to diversify its economy and strengthen its democratic institutions, thereby enhancing the country's independence and self-reliance. In her meeting with Speaker of Parliament Archil Talakvadze, she congratulated the Parliament on the passage of critical judicial reform legislation and encouraged the Speaker to incorporate recommendations from civil society and the OSCE for improving the Supreme Court appointment process. She also expressed USAID's continued support for dialogue and consensus building between ruling and opposition parties over the issue of electoral reforms. The Deputy Administrator also urged the Speaker to keep his promise on adopting electoral reforms based on international and domestic recommendations in advance of the October 2020 parliamentary elections. In her meeting with Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, Deputy Administrator Glick highlighted the strength of the U.S. Government's partnership with the Government of Georgia in support of Georgia's economic and democratic aspirations. In her meeting with President Salome Zourabichvili, the Deputy Administrator underscored the U.S. Government's continued support for Georgia's Euro-Atlantic integration. The Deputy Administrator also spoke with women members of Parliament to learn more about the challenges they face in their efforts to serve their constituents and the need to advance women's empowerment in the political sphere and in society more generally. During a roundtable discussion with USAID's local civil society partners, Deputy Administrator Glick emphasized the crucial role civil society plays in strengthening democratic institutions, promoting transparent and effective governance, and empowering citizens to contribute to Georgia's overall development. She also discussed with civil society activists how USAID can support local efforts to help Georgia achieve its development objectives.

While in Georgia, the Deputy Administrator signed a Memorandum of Acknowledgement with MASHAV, Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation. Under the Memorandum, both countries affirmed their intent to deepen their cooperation to increase private sector engagement in support of Georgia's prosperity and self-reliance. The Deputy Administrator delivered keynote remarks at an event highlighting the expansion of USAID's Supporting Youth and Women Entrepreneurship in Georgia (YES-Georgia) program, which supports dynamic and inclusive economic growth in Georgia by empowering young entrepreneurs. During her remarks, she emphasized that YES-Georgia had been selected to receive additional funding through the White House-led Women's Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, which will enable the program to further advance women's economic empowerment across Georgia. With W-GDP funding, YES-Georgia aims to provide more than 2,500 women with business management training, access to legal and accounting services, and mentoring and networking opportunities. The program also includes public outreach activities to positively impact the public discourse surrounding the contributions that women can make to Georgia's development.

In addition, the Deputy Administrator met with leaders of Georgia's business community at a reception which included members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia, the Business Association of Georgia, BP Exploration (Caspian Sea) Ltd., and AgriGeorgia, a subsidiary of Ferrero. At the reception, she discussed USAID's ongoing partnerships with the business community to improve the business enabling environment, attract investment, and enable innovation.

The Deputy Administrator also met with the Director of Social Protection Policy of Georgia's Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Health, Labor, and Social Affairs to discuss USAID's ongoing support for public-private partnerships to assist vulnerable populations and foster social inclusion. The meeting took place at a center which provides 24-hour caregiving and rehabilitation services for children with severe disabilities. The center is supported by a partnership between USAID, UNICEF, the State Social Services Agency, the Tbilisi city municipality, and one of the largest private companies in Georgia, and serves as a model for transitional care in the country.

Deputy Administrator Glick expressed the U.S. Government's support for Georgia's territorial integrity during a visit to the Administrative Boundary Line with Russian-occupied territory in Georgia. In the city of Gori near the Administrative Boundary Line, she met with youth representatives of Georgia's ethnically and religiously diverse communities. She used this opportunity to discuss how USAID can contribute to a more inclusive society in Georgia, where diversity is a source of resilience against malign efforts aimed at destabilization.

USAID's Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia Alexander Sokolowski accompanied the Deputy Administrator in Georgia.