The below is attributable to Spokesperson Rebecca Chalif:
On March 23, USAID Deputy Administrator Coleman arrived in Tbilisi to convey USAID’s commitment to Georgia’s territorial integrity and ongoing support for the Georgian people as they cope with the severe impact of Russia’s aggression on their security, economy and democratic aspirations. The United States and Georgia marked thirty years of diplomatic partnership last week. She had a series of high-level meetings with Georgian government officials, including Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, President Salome Zourabichvili, and Speaker of Parliament Shalva Papuashvili. The Deputy Administrator discussed Georgia’s democratic reform agenda and conveyed appreciation for Georgia’s support for Ukraine against Russia’s brutal war.
Deputy Administrator Coleman launched a new chapter of partnership with TBC Bank, announcing USAID and TBC Bank’s new memorandum of understanding (MOU) affirming their joint commitment to strengthen Georgia’s economic diversification and resilience, emphasizing expanded access to finance and business support services for inclusive economic growth, promoting women’s economic empowerment, and developing the skills businesses need to grow.
On day two of her trip, she met with local youth leaders, members of civil society organizations (CSOs), and entrepreneurs. Coleman discussed external and homegrown disinformation in Georgia and learned about how CSOs are creating innovative, proactive, and effective ways to protect Georgia’s information space. She also traveled along the boundary line of Russian occupied territories, where small businesses create jobs and hope for communities affected by conflict. She also visited a historic cultural site for discussions on the growing importance of tourism for Georgia’s economy, a sector targeted by Russia’s malign influence over the last three years, and on nearby wind turbines at the Kartli Wind Farm, to highlight USAID efforts to help Georgia move closer to energy independence and away from sources tied to Russia.