PHOTO FOCUS STORY PROMISES VS. RESULTS AT A GLANCE RELATED STORIES
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“The revolution has not yet reached Racha,” a popular witticism claims. What’s the reality for this isolated region? Check out three government promises and their results.

PROMISE / RESULT   1 of 3

PROMISE: 2004 - At a meeting in March with majoritarian MPs from Racha-Lechkumi and Kvemo Svaneti, then Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania stressed that the government would launch projects to develop the region’s small and medium businesses. “The region has great potential in the fields of woodworking, winegrowing, and cattle-breeding… [future] . . . projects will contribute to solving the problem of local employment and development of the region’s resources.”

RESULT: 2005 - Projects for developing the region’s economy remain in the planning stage. “The region urgently needs development of local potential,” said Governor Otar Siradze in April 17. “There are a lot of resources, but, unfortunately, they are not being used appropriately. [For example,] we definitely need help from the central authorities for developing local winemaking, which faces a lot of problems.”

PROMISE / RESULT   2 of 3

PROMISE: 2004 - On April 20, the State Department for Tourism and Resorts announced that its 2005 budget would include increased funding for the protection of waterways and for work on roads linking villages with the region’s administrative centers. The increase was intended as part of a campaign to develop tourism in Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti.

RESULT: 2005 - Roads and waterways have not yet reached the top of the agenda for Racha. “[T]he budgetary funds will be used to satisfy the population who suffered from recent landslides and the earthquake which occurred back in 1991,” said Governor Otar Siradze in an April interview “This is the main goal for us, any of the funds allocated should be used to buy new houses for the population. “

PROMISE / RESULT   3 of 3

PROMISE: 2004 - In June, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Tamar Lebanidze stated that the government would launch special programs to preserve and develop biodiversity in the mountainous regions of Georgia. According to the minister, special attention would be paid to Racha and Svaneti, where there are important endemic species. The government would request international organizations for assistance in this sphere, Lebanidze said.

RESULT: 2005 - As of April, no government programs for protecting the environment in Racha or Svaneti had been launched, according to the environment ministry’s press service. Jambal Bakuradze, head of the State Chancellery’s Regional Policy Department,, stated that the government needs to define the term “mountainous” before allocating additional resources to isolated areas such as Racha or Svaneti.

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