The general Georgian population, including the 10,000 Jews living there, are facing the continual struggle of trying to make ends meet. Despite Georgia’s mineral wealth, it remains one of the poorest of the former Soviet Republics.
Already in decline, its economy was heavily impacted by the 2008 Georgia-Russia conflict. Foreign Direct Investment and workers’ remittances declined, causing the economy to contract by 7% in 2009. As a result, the healthcare and education systems remain severely limited. Pensions are among the lowest in the former Soviet Union, leaving the elderly especially vulnerable to the ailing economy and rising costs as state assistance does not even begin to cover their most basic needs.
World Jewish Relief and its local partner in Tbilisi and Rustavi aim to improve the lives of the poorest people when the government and their families cannot.
Population = 4,600,825
Jewish population = 10,000
Life expectancy at birth = 77 years
Population below poverty line = 31%
Unemployment rate = 16.4%
GDP per capita = $4,800
Inflation rate = 5.7%