PHOTO FOCUS STORY PROMISES VS. RESULTS AT A GLANCE RELATED STORIES
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Georgia’s smallest region, Guria, is plagued with failing healthcare and education sectors. With millions coming into state coffers from both the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and the privatization process, observers wonder how much social welfare reforms will feature in the government’s spending plans. Check out five of the biggest promises made in these spheres and their results.

PROMISE / RESULT   1 of 5

PROMISE: 2004 - An October 11 deal with the owners of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline stipulates that Georgia will receive $40 million through 2010, with an additional $1 million each year for the lifespan of the BTC pipeline. British Petroleum also announced that it would invest $10 million in a series of projects including education and healthcare.

RESULT: 2004 - The Georgian Finance Ministry announced on January 31 that the BTC Company had given them $9 million as part of its new grant program for Georgia. However, rather than education and healthcare, the Georgian government announced that these funds would be used for “various social programs,” including poverty reduction and increased pensions for residents of the Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli regions.

PROMISE / RESULT   2 of 5

PROMISE: 2005 - In his February 10 State of the Nation address, President Mikheil Saakashvili stated that education and the healthcare system would feature among the top-priority sectors for government allocation of funds from the privatization process.

RESULT: 2005 - Out of the 452 million lari ($ 248.3 million) added to the central budget from privatization as of April, the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs ranked third from the bottom in the list of ministries that benefited from the increase. The ministry received just 24 million lari ($13.2 million), or five percent, of the total amount available.

PROMISE / RESULT   3 of 5

PROMISE: 2005 - In the drive to reform the country’s education sector, the Ministry of Education and Sciences introduced an ambitious program called “Jump of the Deer.” The program aims to equip all Georgian schools with computers and to increase their technological capabilities, as well as to train educators in modern teaching methodologies. No timeframe for the reforms has been given.

RESULT: 2005 - As of late April, progress with Jump of the Deer appeared to be limited to a one-week workshop held in March in Tbilisi and Kutaisi. In the workshop, a delegation of Estonian teachers worked with Georgian instructors to explain how to use and care for school computers, and provided an overview of the latest computer technologies. Details on the money spent by the government on the workshop were not available.

PROMISE / RESULT   4 of 5

PROMISE: 2004 - The education ministry launched a series of controversial reforms designed to modernize Georgia’s education system and root-out corruption in institutes of higher learning. Among the proposed changes, outlined in 2005, is a plan to transfer state funds directly to region schools and bypass local government. So-called resource centers will work with local schools to reform curricula and teaching methods, according to the ministry.

RESULT: 2005 - As of mid-spring, the regional resource centers were still in the planning stage, and plans to provide direct financing for local schools had not been realized.

PROMISE / RESULT   5 of 5

PROMISE: 2005 - In response to Guria’s urgent need for emergency care facilities, the central government in Tbilisi promised residents several ambulances, an emergency medical unit and a shipment of basic medical supplies by May 1. Local authorities in the region estimated that this assistance would result in the creation of 20-25 new jobs in each of the region’s three districts.

RESULT: 2005 - Georgia received more than 130 new ambulances in May. The ambulances were slotted to be sent to all 10 regions of Georgia, including Guria, by the beginning of June.

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