Healthcare for Reconciliation
TBILISI. 17 April 2014 – Up to 300 Abkhaz and South Ossetians received medical help in Tbilisi, Zugdidi and Kutaisi for the last 12 months. The Georgian non-governmental organization “Peaceful and Business Caucasus” helped the patients and their families to get in touch with the clinics and arranged their transportation and stay for the period of medical treatment. In most of the cases medical service was provided free of charge.
This humanitarian-medical project was implemented with funds from the Government of the Netherlands as part of the joint European Union and UNDP initiative – Confidence Building Early Response Mechanism (COBERM).
On 17 April 2014, doctors and non-governmental organizations got together in the Tbilisi clinic “New Hospital” to sum up the results of their work.
Niels Scott, Head of UNDP in Georgia; Boris Iarochevitch, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to Georgia; and Angèle Samura, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Netherlands, attended the event and discussed public diplomacy as the effective mechanism of reconciliation and confidence building.
“You reach out for people and help them wherever is needed most. I am convinced that a positive effect of this and many other similar initiatives will be growing with the time,” Niels Scott said.
The EU/UNDP programme COBERM works with a range of civil society organizations across conflict divides. It supports the immediate and concrete initiatives which seek to promote tolerance and facilitate dialogue within and between the divided communities.
Since 2010, COBERM has supported a number of successful projects, including for: youth summer camps, peace journalism, Georgian-Ossetian and Ossetian-Georgian dictionaries, stories and discussion papers by the South Caucasus writers and scholars, and digitalisation of the archive documents related to culture and history.