A new home for the elderly, Chemi Mordu, opened in the village of Rukhi, Zugdidi Municipality. The home will provide care services for the vulnerable aged population of conflict-affected communities. Most of its residents had been living without fundamental care or had experienced domestic violence.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Government of Georgia, the local municipality and the Charity Humanitarian Centre Abkhazeti (CHCA) non-governmental organization contributed US$160,000 to fully modernize and equip the home.
“Older persons who lack support from relatives are one of the most at-risk groups,” said UNDP Head Nick Beresford. “The pandemic has further worsened their living conditions, creating a huge need for institutionalized care services; this is why UNDP has focused assistance to this area since the beginning of the crisis.”
According to the Social Service Agency, 41,000 out of 772,300 registered Georgian pensioners live alone in extreme poverty. The pandemic made this even worse, revealing the urgent need for systemic care services.
Since the first days of the pandemic, UNDP has repurposed its US$20 million programme in Georgia to assist the most vulnerable groups, including the older population. This support focused on immediate emergency aid as well as longer-term sustainable solutions for the vulnerable.
For over a year, UNDP has continuously supported municipal shelters for the elderly and homeless in Tbilisi, Rustavi and Samtredia, delivering protective gear, sanitary supplies and medical equipment as well as household appliances and furniture.
Together with CHCA, UNDP delivered sanitary supplies and food packages to vulnerable elderly persons living in over 100 collective centres for internally displaced persons. UNDP and CHCA also organized home-care services for elderly internally displaced persons and referred those in particular need to state and non-state service providers.
In partnership with the Georgia Red Cross Society, UNDP assisted over 5,000 old persons living independently — but alone — and provided them with home care services, information and counselling through a network of more than 600 caregivers and volunteers.
These initiatives drew on resources provided by Denmark, the United Kingdom and UN rapid response funds.