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In the immediate aftermath of last August's 5-day Russo-Georgian war, foreign assistance played a crucial role in alleviating humanitarian hardship, and in stabilizing Georgia's economy. "Despite the global economic crisis that followed the war, Georgia has been able to weather the storm," said Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon during a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
"The assistance provided by the United States and other international donors, and Georgia’s effective management of that assistance, is playing a critical role in meeting the urgent needs of Georgia’s citizens, supporting the economy and contributing to the long-term security and stability of the country."
Soon after the signing of the cease-fire agreement, the United States pledged $1 billion to help meet Georgia's immediate humanitarian needs, repair damaged infrastructure, sustain investor confidence, and restore economic growth. Kenneth Yamashita is Acting Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia at the U.S. Agency for International Development. "Included within this assistance package," he said, "was a targeted component to strengthen democratic institutions and foster good governance":
"The $1 billion addressed immediate needs and laid the foundation for Georgia’s recovery. We will secure this investment in Georgia’s future through our future annual assistance programs. We look forward to working closely with all of our counterparts in Georgia, and with all of our partners and other donors who have been providing support to Georgia."
Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow noted that the anniversary of the war, "shows that, one year on, Georgia has emerged thanks to help from the United States and the international community:"
"The August war anniversary is a time for reflection, but most importantly, a time for action. Bilateral cooperation with Georgia in all sectors can help cement the on-going reforms to which Georgia has committed, and fulfill the promise of the Rose Revolution.
"For our part," said Assistant Secretary of Defense Vershbow, "we shall remain committed to Georgia's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we look forward to working with our Georgian partners to build greater security and prosperity in the years to come."