COVID-19: Georgia Unveils Additional Anti-Crisis Measures

On August 6, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia spoke of additional anti-crisis measures to tackle economic and social challenges amid the coronavirus fallout. The third stage of the anti-crisis plan – worth of GEL 410 million (USD 132 Million), of which GEL 130 million was allocated from StopCov fund – entails a social assistance package for individuals, including helping children and students as well as covering utility fees for the households.

The Government will offer one-off assistance of GEL 200 (USD 65) to children under 17.

In the meantime, the state will cover a semester tuition-fee – GEL 1125 / USD 365 – for the students whose families have received less than 150,000 points in the system for socially vulnerable persons. The students belonging to the same category of socially vulnerable persons, who had their student status suspended due to financial difficulties, will receive a full-tuition waiver – GEL 2250 / USD 730 – for the academic year 2020-21. The Prime Minister said the benefits will affect 33,000 students.

“The target groups of the third stage of social assistance package are youth so that we do everything at our disposal to ensure that the education process for them is not hampered because of the pandemic,” noted Giorgi Gakharia.

As stated by the Prime Minister, the Government will cover utility fees for the households consuming less than 200 cubic meters of gas and 200 kilowatts of electricity per month in November, December, January, and February.

He added that 170,000 self-employed people have already claimed their GEL 300 (USD 94) one-off assistance, noting that additional 80,000 persons, who failed to get the said financial support due to incomplete applications earlier, will now be allowed to receive GEL 300 aid.

According to Government calculation, out of the GEL 410 million package, approximately GEL 200 million will be allocated to cover utility bills, while GEL 170 million will be mobilized to help children.

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