Georgia may receive a new $ 20 million grant from the US Agency for International Cooperation to deepen the integration of small groups into Georgian society. Another question is what is behind this.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) plans to allocate another portion of the money to Tbilisi. This time we are talking about the deep integration of small groups into Georgian society. Judging by the information published on the foundation’s website about a new grant worth $ 20 million, it is about the integration of ethnic and religious minorities into the social, political and economic life of the Georgian state. It is needed to promote diversity and, at the same time, achieve the social cohesion on which democracy is based. In addition, we are talking about strengthening the territorial integrity of Georgia, broader participation of minorities in political processes and strengthening their socio-economic ties with Georgians. It looks like this is being done in opposition to Russia, which, judging by the description of the grant, uses the grievances and divisions in its favor against the background of the fact that local residents are paying attention to “attractive educational and economic opportunities, increasingly coming from Russia.”
As for ethnic minorities, there are enough of them in Georgia. These are, in particular, Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Ukrainians, Russians, Greeks and others. Some are Muslims, some belong to other religious communities. The problem of national minorities has been acute in Georgia since at least the end of the 1980s. The wars and the de-facto secession of Abkhazia and South Ossetia only exacerbated these problems. That is why USAID is ready to sponsor the solution of these problems.
Another question is what is behind this. Some experts suspect the foundation of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries under the guise of humanitarian missions. For Georgia, with its contradictions, this is not the best scenario, complicated by the scandalous trial of Mikheil Saakashvili, which exacerbated political and social “sores”.
The US Agency for International Development is very closely guarded by Georgia. It recently announced the allocation of more than $ 5 million to fight the coronavirus in this country (where vaccination of the population, to put it mildly, is stalled), and a little earlier it announced that it plans to spend $ 23 million on improving the efficiency of the public administration system and fighting corruption.
It is worth recalling that a couple of years ago, USAID presented a concept to “counter the Kremlin’s hostile influence” in the post-Soviet space. It follows from the document that it involves strengthening laws and democracy, combating manipulation in the information sphere and vulnerabilities in the energy sector, as well as increasing economic security. So the new grant fits well into the general outline.
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