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    Donors give $4.5 billion for Georgia recovery

    Reuters
    22.10.2008 - 17:25 | Son Güncelleme: 22.10.2008 - 17:26

    International donors pledged a higher-than-expected $4.55 billion to help Georgia recover after its August war with Russia, Western officials said on Wednesday.

    "$4.5 billion far exceeds the expectations that we had ... At a time like this to show such support is something that no Georgian will ever forget," Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze told reporters after a one-day donors conference in Brussels.

     

    The head of U.S. government aid agency USAID said it was a strong show of support for Tbilisi.

     

    "The message economically and politically is very strong for Georgia. At a time of financial turmoil, this is extraordinarily strong," USAID administrator Henrietta Fore told Reuters.

     

    The U.N. and World Bank had estimated that key energy transit route Georgia would need $3.25 billion over the next three years to help tens of thousands of people forced from their homes and to repair infrastructure.

     

    Russia sent in troops in August after Georgia tried to retake a breakaway pro-Russian region. Moscow has since withdrawn soldiers from Georgia proper, but the West accused Moscow of a disproportionate use of force.

     

    Russian bombing raids hit mainly military targets, but Tbilisi also reported damage to civilian infrastructure and risks to its economic growth and investment.

     

    The United States has offered at least $1 billion to help Georgia rebuild. The European Commission, the European Union's executive, has promised up to 500 million euros ($644 million) to 2010 and Ferrero-Waldner had urged the EU's 27 states at least to match that figure.

     

    Japan's Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters Japan would provide 200 million euros for energy and other projects.

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