Donors pledge $4.55 billion for restoration of Georgia’s economy

Donors pledge $4.55 billion for restoration of Georgia’s economy
# 23 October 2008 09:18 (UTC +04:00)
Brussels – APA. A global donors meeting on Wednesday pledged 4.55 billion dollars (3.5 billion euros) in aid to conflict-stricken Georgia, much higher than anticipated, the EU commission announced.
APA reports quoting AFP that the sum included 2.8 billion euros of public funding to meet Georgia’s urgent post-conflict "and priority investment needs."
The amount raised at the one-day conference "is more than we had thought and therefore I think it is a day of joy," EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner told a news conference.
The meeting, attended by 67 nations and financial institutions, was co-hosted by the EU and the World Bank.
The pledged grants and loans, some of which had been made previously, beat most of the predictions amid a global financial crisis.
The United States, pledging a billion dollars over three years, was the biggest benefactor, followed by substantial donations from the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and Japan.
The funding will be used firstly for urgent social needs, including dealing with the 65,000 people displaced within Georgia by the conflict and repairing infrastructure.
Secondly there will be funding to deal with Georgia’s budgetary shortfall, for paying wages, pensions and other government services.
Japan pledged 200 million dollars (151 million euros) in aid over three years, while the International Monetary Fund has promised a 750 million euro financial package.