Posted: 1 month ago

Mestia has the Highest Rate of Poverty Among the Regions of Georgia

Mestia municipality is in the first place among the poorest regions in Georgia. In one of the most developed regions in terms of tourism, 70% of the population, 6519 people receive a subsistence allowance for the poor.

Financial assistance is provided to members of the Mestia Municipality Council, City Hall staff, and even those who win tenders, sawmills, family hotels and other commercial facilities. In 2021, the number of recipients of subsistence allowance increased by 7%. No other municipality in Georgia has such a high rate of poverty.

What caused such a significant increase in subsistence recipients? Could it be the result of the pandemic, impoverishment of the population for one reason or another, the use of administrative resources for elections, all three together, corruption or something else? Opinions of civil activists, the former Minister of Health and the explanation of the Social Service Agency differ.

Municipalities where half or a little less of the population receives subsistence allowance are mostly mountainous. Ambrolauri - 50.9%, Lentekhi - 50.6%, Oni - 48.9%, Keda - 48.9%, Khulo - 43.4%, Kharagauli - 39.1%, Shuakhevi - 37.9%, Dmanisi - 36.3%, Tetritskaro 36.3%, Chiatura 34.2%. In all these municipalities, the Georgian Dream mayoral candidates won the elections in the first round, with a large lead in Lentekhi (78.936%), Tetritskaro (65.198%), Mestia (64.164%), Ambrolauri (59.557%), Kharagauli (57.511%) and Keda. ).

According to the National Statistics Office, in the third quarter of 2021 (July, August, September) the unemployment rate in Georgia increased by 2.5 percentage points compared to the same period of the previous year and amounted to 19.5 percent.