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SDC at a Glance






The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is Switzerland’s international cooperation agency within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). In operating with other federal offices concerned, SDC is responsible for the overall coordination of development activities and cooperation with Eastern Europe, as well as for the humanitarian aid delivered by the Swiss Confederation.

The goal of development cooperation is that of reducing poverty. It is meant to foster economic self-reliance and state autonomy, to contribute to the improvement of production conditions, to help in finding solutions to environmental problems, and to provide better access to education and basic healthcare services.

  • Swiss Cooperation with Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) supports democratic and market economy reforms in partner countries of Southeast Europe and the former Soviet Union. The main concerns in providing this transition assistance are the building of democratic institutions, the reform of health and social services, and the improvement of the environment. Since 2008, Switzerland has been providing a so-called Enlargement Contributionto the new EU Member States so as to help reduce the social and economic disparities within the enlarged EU.
  • Regional Cooperation steers SDC’s bilateral cooperation with countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In reducing the number of its priority countries from the previous 17 to 12, and the number of its special programmes from 7 to 6, SDC continues its geographic concentration of activities. At the end of 2009, SDC withdrew from Ecuador. The programmes being conducted in India, Bhutan, Pakistan, Peru, and North Korea will, by 2012, either be terminated or given a new focus. The regional development banks are also considered as key partners in the domain of regional cooperation.

  • Global Cooperation is primarily active in the multilateral domain, cooperating with the organizations of the UN system and with the World Bank. By fostering global programmes in the domain of climate change, food security, water and migration, global cooperation makes its contribution to tackling global challenges. 

  • Humanitarian Aid aims at saving lives and alleviating suffering. Direct relief is provided in the wake of natural disasters and in the context of armed conflicts, while humanitarian partner organizations can be the recipients of both manpower and financial support. The core domains of intervention are prevention, emergency aid and survival assistance, reconstruction, and advocacy for the causes of forgotten humanitarian crises. Swiss humanitarian aid is active in 9 regions.

  Swiss Development Cooperation South Caucasus 

ADC at a Glance


Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) supports countries in Africa, Asia, South-Eastern and Eastern Europe in their sustainable development. The Foreign Ministry of Austria (FMEIA) plans ADC strategies and programmes. The Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the operational unit of ADC, implements these together with public institutions, non-governmental organisations and enterprises.

In its cooperation with South Caucasus countries Armenia and Georgia, the Austrian Development Agency concentrates on agriculture and forestry to generate income, create jobs and raise local content. Austria’s engagement is primarily aimed at poverty reduction in the border regions between the two countries, where a major theme is also conflict prevention; the others are good governance and decentralization.

The motivation behind reform efforts in the countries of South Caucasus is the prospect of closer cooperation with the EU. The majority of the population is still struggling with severe poverty and high unemployment. Population groups in this multi-lingual and multi-ethnic region are frequently mutually distrustful and harbour deep-seated prejudices against each other. General problems that need addressing are poor infrastructure, untapped potential in industrial sectors, extremely small-scale agriculture, barriers in transport and business and industry, corruption and political and territorial conflicts. 

Austrian Development Agency

LATEST NEWS
VET Colleges to Teach Jara Wild Honey Production
09/10/2020
On October 8th, the Georgian Beekeepers Union (GBU) hosted representatives of thirteen VET colleges from across Georgia and sectoral skills organization Agro Duo in Tbilisi. The meeting occasioned the integration of Jara honey production as a topic in VET college beekeeping programmes, something that the Georgian Beekeepers Union have been facilitating over the last year. The participants received the Jara Honey Production Handbook and Bio Certification Guidelines for Beekeepers; and were introduced to two new websites www.honeyofgeorgia.com and www.jarahoney.com and a honey promotion video Discover Georgia: The Land of the Oldest Honey. This year Akhali Talga VET College in Kobuleti and Khulo integrated the Jara materials into their one-year beekeeping programme in which twenty-eight beekeeper students are attending. At the meeting, Akhali Talga VET College shared their experience of successfully integrating the Jara materials into their beekeeping programme. ‘I had many calls before and after the meeting and I can say that the interest from the colleges is very high. We will provide support required and I am sure from the next year there will be more programmes with the Jara materials and improved content.’ – Aleko Papava, the Head of the GBU. At the beginning of the meeting, the GBU and sectoral skills organization Agro Duo signed a Memorandum of Understanding pledging to work together to integrate Jara materials into the beekeeping programmes in all VET colleges in Georgia. Jara is traditional wild beekeeping producing unique and pure honey rarely practiced nowadays, except for remote dwellings located in the subtropical and alpine zone of Georgia. However, for the first time in decades Jara production is being practiced again by new beekeepers or taken up again by those who had stopped. In 2018 the Jara Beekeepers Association was formed to represent producer interest and in the country first, twenty-three Jara beekeepers in Ajara have received Bio certification. Jara honey was commercially harvested and branded for the first time in 2018 and since then the market for Jara honey has grown in strength which is why the producers decided to become Bio Certified to further increase the value of their product. The Jara honey mark was registered this year to further protect this culturally important product.  
Jara Beekeeping Brings Hope: Vazha’s Story
06/10/2020
   Fifty-seven years old Vazha Kedelidze from Kedlebi Village, Khulo is one of ten students who enrolled in the beekeeping programme at Akhali Talgha vocational college in August. Vazha retired from his position as a fireman five years ago. Soon after, his wife had a severe injury that left her unable to take care of their farm. As Vazha says, beekeeping is now the mainstay of his family. His beekeeper friend helped him to arrange an apiary of twenty hives. ‘I discovered that beekeeping is a philosophy on its own. Sometimes I sit for hours and observe bees working. I am trying to understand the process.’- Vazha says. As a beginner beekeeper, Vazha is striving for knowledge and struggling to gain comprehensive information, as internet sources are not targeted to beginner beekeepers and he needed something hands on. He then heard about the beekeeping course at the Akhali Talgha VET collegein Khulo. ‘I do not know curriculum details yet, but I am sure I will get answers to my questions and I am looking forward to starting the learning process.’ – Says Vazha. Vazha was even more surprised when he found out a Jara beekeeping module: ‘I had heard about Jara from villagers and television. It is a fascinating and very unique tradition. Last year, I even made six Jara hives and could not proceed further due to a lack of knowledge. So, I am glad that I will learn more about this traditional beekeeping.’ – Says Vazha. Akhali Talga VET college in Ajara is the first college in Georgia to have integrated Jara teaching in their beekeeping programme. They will teach the integrated programme from this semester to twenty-eight students. In total, there are ten VET colleges in Georgia with either a two month or one-year beekeeping course. The Georgian Beekeepers Union (GBU), along with the Jara Beekeepers Association (JBA),  is now facilitating the integration of Jara module into beekeeping programmes of these ten colleges in cooperation with the sectoral skills organization Agro Duo and the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia. The JBA developed the Jara Honey Production Handbook: for Beekeeping Programmes at VET Colleges. Jara is traditional wild beekeeping, rarely practiced nowadays, except for remote dwellings located in the subtropical and alpine zones of Western Georgia, namely, Ajara, emphasizing the importance of co-existence between humans and wild nature. It is a family activity led by a family head, with strong roots in traditional agriculture practice, culture and a way of living as a whole. That makes Jara unique. However, due to a limited market, it was nearly fading outback in 2014 when the ALCP found out about it, and this is when the Jara journey began. It is now growing in 2018 the first commercial Jara harvest was 500kg it is now over 3 tonnes. Twenty-three Jara beekeepers are now Bio Certified and many people such as Vazha are anxious to start. Jara is a high value product with very strong demand it retails for 90 Gel/kg.
Third Georgian Dairy Exports to USA
24/09/2020
In mid September, dairy enterprise Tsintskaro+ Ltd in Kvemo Kartli sent 280 kg of different types of cheese (Sulguni, Smoked Sulguni, Georgian Cheese) and clarified butter produced by Milkeni Ltd through distribution company Geoproduct Ltd,  for sale in New York, USA after positive feedback received on product samples sent earlier in August. Both dairies are members of the Georgian Milk Mark the quality assurance label for Georgian natural milk and their products bare the GMM. The company expects a repeat order for at least 250 kg in the near future.
LATEST PUBLICATIONS
ILO Bending the Rules
Catalogue of Agricultural Topics in the Georgian Livestock Sector GEO
Catalogue of Agricultural Topics in the Georgian Livestock Sector ENG