Since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 Georgia has made substantial progress in gaining autonomy and boosting its economy. Yet it still suffers from high levels of unemployment, as an estimated 32 percent of its population live below the poverty line. In rural areas many people survive solely by subsistence farming. Public investment in social sectors remains low in the country.
The problem of a disputed border with Russia also presents difficulties for the vulnerable people of Georgia. In the summer of 2008, from 220,000 to 240,000 people from the Abkhazia and South Ossetia areas were displaced following conflicts between Georgian and Russian forces. Water quality, sanitation and unhygienic living conditions are on the top of the list of priorities for Georgia’s internally displaced communities who are dire need of assistance.
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