A total of 50 winning projects were selected for EU funding from 223 applications received, with 41% of the full proposals were submitted by women, in the first grant competition in Mestia municipality, organised by the Local Action Group and supported by the EU under the ENPARD programme.
The main aim of the grant competition is to support the population of Upper Svaneti in the establishment and expansion of environmentally sustainable social, community and business initiatives, in line with the local development strategy of Upper Svaneti.
The projects chosen cover all 17 communities of Mestia municipality. The majority (30%) will improve community infrastructure, followed by projects in the tourism sector (24%), while 18% are connected with agriculture production, and 12% of chosen initiatives will improve education, sport and health.
The majority of the selected applications are business initiatives. Almost 40 new business operators have already been registered in Mestia municipality.
Most of projects (82%) will increase employment opportunities or improve job conditions, 35% of the projects will improve access to social services, and 62% of the initiatives target the most vulnerable groups. Among them, the majority of initiatives are directed towards women and youth empowerment. The rest of the projects also target people from the most remote communities, IDPs, the elderly and persons with disabilities.
The project, “Implementing LEADER in Mestia municipality for better livelihoods in high mountainous regions of Georgia”, under the ENPARD programme, is run in the municipality of Mestia by CARE Austria in partnership with PMC-Research Centre. The project aims to improve the diversification and competitiveness of the rural economy, supports the involvement of vulnerable groups, especially women and the young, and the sustainable management of natural resources. The EU is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD programme, implemented since 2013 with a total budget of €234.5 million.
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