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On 24 December 2014 at the plenary session of the Parliament of Georgia, Member of the Parliamentary Minority, Giorgi Baramidze, declared: “In April 2014, the Government of Georgia approved the Emergency Assistance Programme for families with children in crisis. The Programme is implemented by the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia and aims to support families living in poverty. The budget of the Programme amounts to GEL 1,164,500 and at least 1,164 families were supposed to get assistance in the sum of GEL 1,000 before the end of this year. However, not a single family has benefited from that Programme.”

FactCheck took interest in the statement of the MP and checked its accuracy.

On 14 April 2014, the Government of Georgia adopted an Ordinance on the State Programme of Social Rehabilitation and Child Care of 2014. Within the framework of the Programme, a separate Emergency Assistance Programme for families with children in crisis was established. The Programme aims to satisfy the basic needs of those families with children who live in poverty. The budget of the Programme was settled at GEL 1,164,500. Families with children in need of emergency assistance were to apply at respective territorial units of the Social Service Agency with a special commission within the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia approving the request. If approved, the family would receive the necessary assistance up to GEL 1,000 in the form of material goods or services. The needs of the families are defined by the beneficiaries themselves. It could be clothes, foodstuff, home appliances, furniture, etc.

The Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia launched the Emergency Assistance Programme for families with children in crisis on 25 October 2014. The information was broadcast through the media. According to the statistical information provided by the Social Service Agency, in 2014 1,310 families received assistance within the framework of the Emergency Assistance Programme for families with children in crisis. The total sum of the expenses for the Programme amounted to GEL 1,164,500.

FactCheck interviewed Giorgi Baramidze who gave an explanation that his statement was based upon an article published in Liberali magazine. The magazine did publish an article on the topic on 23 October 2014. Giorgi Baramidze made his statement on 24 December 2014. Moreover, the abovementioned article included a comment of the Director of the Social Service Agency, Gaioz Talakvadze, who announced that the Agency was about to start giving out the food and other items in a few days.

 

Conclusion

The total budget of the Emergency Assistance Programme for families with children in crisis, a separate programme of the State Programme of Social Rehabilitation and Child Care of 2014, in the amount of GEL 1,164,500 was fully used in 2014. A total of 1,310 families received assistance as a part of the Programme’s activities. The Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia started to give out the assistance to families with children in crisis from 25 October 2014. Giorgi Baramidze made his statement on 24 December 2014.

Therefore, according to FactCheck, Giorgi Baramidze’s statement: “Not a single family has benefitted from the Emergency Assistance Programme for families with children in crisis,” is a LIE.

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