Immediately after the collapse of the USSR, Georgia was ravaged by civil war and then by conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the consequences of which are still reverberating throughout the country. Despite the economic and household income growth over the past decade, the level of poverty in Georgia remains critical, especially in rural areas. As a consequence, migration from rural to urban areas is rising and affecting the quality and accessibility of social services. Many vulnerable people living in the rural areas are being left in poverty without the assistance that they require. In addition, Georgia is plagued with high levels of corruption, an informal economy and a turbulent relationship with Russia. Also, after a long period of centralized government the population tends to be passive and authorities reluctant to be held accountable.
People in Need has been operating in Georgia since 2005 and has managed to implement more than 34 projects there. Initially, it focused on preventing illegal migration and supporting business in the Tkibuli region. Over the years, the organization expanded its portfolio of projects in other regions as well, especially in the west of the country. After the end of the conflict in August 2008, the organization became engaged in immediate humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons from South Ossetia.
Once the need for emergency relief had diminished, People in Need extended its developmental support to the most vulnerable people and in 2009 entered Samegrelo region to strengthen the region’s capacity to provide social assistance and protection to internally displaced persons and promote their socio-economic integration. Over the same period, the organization launched several civil society development interventions aimed at supporting civic initiatives in the regions, strengthen social and life skills of young people and promote their cooperation with local authorities. People in Need has also piloted several smaller-scale agricultural and rural development initiatives that targeted farmers and rural entrepreneurs.
Nowadays, working through its offices in Kutaisi, Stepansminda and Tbilisi, PIN provides support to economically and socially vulnerable population of Imereti, Racha, Kazbegi and Kakheti regions. Our current projects focus mainly on fostering rural and urban economic development, enhancing civil society and supporting integration of vulnerable groups into community life.