TBILISI, GEORGIA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Government of Georgia today signed a $108 million loan agreement for a project to improve water and sanitation services in Poti and Zugdidi, signaling the start of a new country partnership strategy (CPS) for 2014-2018.
Signing the loan agreement were Minister of Finance, Nodar Khaduri and ADB’s Director General of the Central and West Asia Department, Klaus Gerhaeusser. ADB’s Georgia Resident Mission Country Director, Kathie Julian, and Senior Urban Development Specialist, Sanjay Joshi witnessed the signing.
“ADB’s new CPS with Georgia will help it address some of the barriers to inclusive growth including deficiencies in transport, energy and basic infrastructure, as well as the private sector’s inadequate access to finance,” said Kathie Julian. “Strengthening infrastructure, along with providing support for policy reforms and capacity development, will help stimulate investment, job creation, and income opportunities.”
The water and sanitation project, which is the fourth under a $500 million multitranche financing program, will provide a water supply system in Zugdidi and sewerage system in Poti. Currently, 84% of people in Zugdidi have no access to piped water and the new system will result in round the clock supplies. In Poti, a comprehensive sewage collection and treatment facility will be built, serving the entire town, with nearly 34,000 households in both towns benefiting from the improvements.
The project will also support the implementation of a public awareness program, including information on hygiene and sanitation, through service centers of the United Water Supply Company of Georgia LLC which is responsible for water supply and sanitation services. ADB has previously approved three project loans totaling $218 million under the program and a fifth loan totaling $75 million to support a sewerage system in Zugdidi, and a sewage treatment plant in Mestia, is being processed.
The new CPS will provide assistance to promote sustainable and inclusive growth, and to boost regional connectivity. Although Georgia is among ADB’s most recent members—joining in 2007—assistance has grown rapidly with $1.6 billion in loan approvals as of 31 December 2014.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.