Trust Fund for Victims to Open Assistance Programme in Georgia
The Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has approved on 10 November 2020 an assistance programme for Georgia. The TFV will publish more detailed information concerning the new assistance programme following further consultations with the government authorities, civil society, and affected communities.
Speaking following the decision, Chair of the TFV Board of Directors Mama Koité Doumbia said, "We are very pleased to announce this landmark decision to open a TFV assistance programme in Georgia. The victims in Georgia continue to endure injuries that result from the conflict in 2008. Victims are living in precarious situations due to the destruction or loss of their property. They are displaced from their homes and now lack opportunity. With this decision we hope to be able to address some of these problems and help survivors move forward with hope and dignity and to restore their lives."
Member of the TFV Board of Directors Gocha Lordkipanidze also contributed in a pre-recorded video to the virtual press conference which was held today in Tbilisi.
The TFV Board's decision was informed by the findings and recommendations of the thorough harm-based and victim-centred assessment conducted in 2019/2020. The assessment included wide-ranging consultations with victims, affected communities, Government, and civil society organisations.
The objective of the situation assessment was to examine whether victims continue to suffer to date from persistent injuries resulting from the 2008 conflict, for which the ICC has opened an investigation, and whether reparation or assistance interventions have been sponsored by Government, charities, or civil society.
Based on the assessment, the TFV Board of Directors found that victims of that conflict could benefit from TFV rehabilitative services. Taking into consideration the TFV's current organisational capacity and resource development outlook, the TFV Board of Directors decided that a range of assistance projects should be initiated for the benefit of these victims. Such projects may include medical treatment, psychological rehabilitation such as trauma counselling, as well as material support including livelihood assistance.
TFV Executive Director Pieter de Baan said, "This is an historic moment for the TFV as we work to initiate our first programme outside of the continent of Africa. Sadly for those caught up in the conflict and specifically those in communities near the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) this programme is very necessary. Working around the COVID-19 pandemic challenges as well as the TFV's organisational capacity and available resources, the TFV will continue to strengthen and build new partnerships in an effort to make reparative justice a tangible reality for victims."
The TFV will continue its efforts to raise funds and mobilize resources as well as to advocate for victims among donors and supporters that victims in Georgia receive the assistance they need.