Georgian officials settled 90-95% of refugees from Georgian-Osetian conflict zone, interior minister

Georgia, Tbilisi, Dec. 24 / Trend corr N. Kirtzkhalia / About 90-95% of refugees from the region of Georgian-Osetian conflict were provided with housing, Vano Merabishvili, Georgian interior minister, stated at the joint news conference by Koboy Subeliani, minister on refugees and settling, and David Tkeshelashvili, Georgian state minister on regional management.  

"I am glad that my mission defined by the president on building houses is almost done. During this period, we built 3,963 houses in the settlement of 255 cubic meters. One house cost around 27,933 lari and one cubic meter - 433 lari," Merabishvili said.

According to Merabishvili, 1,500 apartments were repaired and inhabited with refugees. The repair of every apartment cost 13,283 lari. "We also obtained 493 apartments which cost 19,000 lari each," the interior minister said. Refugees were rendered compensations worth 200 lari each and all houses were provided with gas and electricity, Merabishvili added.

In the buffer zone, where refugees returned to, 9,362 houses were recovered, repair of each house made up 2000 lari and compensations in the amount of $15,000 were rendered to the burnt buildings. According to the minister, presently, the process of departing people of Osetian nationality, who do not want to live under Russian occupation, from the conflict zone is underway. "They are Georgian citizens and will be provided with houses till summer of 2009," Merabishvili said.

The minister said that the government is also taking measures to create jobs in the refugee populated areas. New enterprises are established there within "cheap credit" and lands will be given to people for cultivation beginning from the end of January. According to Tkeshelashvili, the housing process will continue. So far, 5,041 families i.e. 16,528 people were provided with new houses.   

Subeliani said that all houses were supplied with television, refrigerators and furniture. Also the suffered students were paid for education. The refugees, who were denied settling, received compensation worth $10,000 per family.

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