In November 2017 Mercy Corps Georgia in partnership with CARE Austria, PIN Czech Republic and the European LEADER Association for Rural Development (ELARD) launched a project "Strengthening Rural Development Models in Georgia" which is a continuation of the pilot rural development measures (phase II). The project is funded by the European Union within the framework of the European Neighborhood Program for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD II)

with the aim of contributing to the reduction of poverty through integrated, sustainable and participatory rural development in Georgia. To improve the quality of life of the rural population in Borjomi, Lagodekhi and Kazbegi municipalities, Mercy Corps, CARE, PIN and ELARD are strengthening the community-led local development approach to further extend support to the existing Local Action Groups operation in project target Municipalities. The ideas incorporated into the project design are based on good practices and lessons learned during the implementation of the ENPARD I projects. The focus is on the best ways to make LAGs more professional and sustainable, building their knowledge and capacity and providing them with the tools to allow them to operate independently after the project’s completion. The Project will be run until November 2019 with a total budget of 1,333,331 EURO.