InGear Summer 2010
P4P is pleased to announce a partnership with International Relief and Development (IRD), one of the world’s largest non-profit investors in international development and providers of humanitarian assistance. IRD has relief programs in over forty nations. One of these is Georgia.
Nestled in the Caucasus Mountains, Georgia is a former Soviet republic which has been attempting to remove itself from the shadow of Russia for nearly two decades. Despite large amounts of Western political and economic aid, Georgia’s economy remains inextricably tied to its powerful northern neighbor. Its domestic market is miniscule and the vast majority of its imports and exports come from or are destined for Russia. This is problematic in light of intermittent, politically-motivated bans on Georgian products by the Russian government and the fact that, since its independence, its outdated Soviet industries have struggled to compete internationally. In addition, Georgia’s notoriously corrupt government seemingly has little power to aid the plight of its people. Over a quarter of Georgia’s population lives below the official poverty line.
The 2008 conflict with Russia over South Ossetia hurt many Georgian families who had been forced from their homes and returned to find many of their tools and supplies stolen or lost during the Russian occupation. IRD is working with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to provide assistance to more than eight hundred of these families. As part of the IRD effort, P4P-supplied 82 sewing machines, which are being made available to encourage local entrepreneurship. These machines are expected to arrive on the Georgia by mid-July.