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On 26 July 2014, during the plenary session of the Parliament, Irakli Gharibashvili responded to a question by Parliamentary Minority MP, Koba Subeliani, and stated that the budget of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia was equal to GEL 25 million when the United National Movement was in power whereas it increased to GEL 50 million after the Georgian Dream coalition assumed office.

FactCheck

took interest in Mr Gharibashvili’s statement and verified its accuracy.

We checked the amounts of funds allocated to the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia from 2004 to 2013 as follows:

Year Performance Reports (GEL million)
2004 66.3
2005 61.2
2006 59.2
2007 65.5
2008 121.8
2009 66.7
2010 41.7
2011 44.5
2012 37.4
2013 47.3

As for the 2014 plan, the annual budget of 2014 allocated GEL 48 million to the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia.

From 2004 to 2013, the budget of the Ministry was the smallest in 2012 with GEL 37.4 million allocated for funding. It was the largest in 2008 when the assigned finances equalled to GEL 121.8 million.

The sharp growth in 2008 was due to the Russian military aggression against Georgia in August 2008. Because of this, the funding of the Ministry almost doubled as compared to the 2007 budget.

Koba Subeliani occupied the position of the Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia from 2008 to 2012. The smallest budget that the Ministry had when Mr Subeliani was the Minister was GEL 37 million in 2012. In 2014, as compared to 2012, the budget of the Ministry was increased 1.3 times and not doubled as Irakli Gharibashvili stated.

Conclusion To verify the accuracy of Mr Gharibashvili’s statement, FactCheck

looked into the 2004-2013 annual budget performance reports. According to the data, the budget of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia has never been GEL 25 million. It was the smallest in 2012 with GEL 37 million. Furthermore, the funds allocated to the Ministry in 2013 were larger than those in 2010, 2011 or 2012; however, they were significantly lower than those allocated from 2004 to 2009.

According to the 2013 budget performance report, the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia spent GEL 47 million, which is 1.3 times more than in 2012 and not doubled, as the Prime Minister stated. It should also be noted that the budget of the Ministry did not reach GEL 50 million even in 2014 and amounted to GEL 48 million.

We conclude that Irakli Gharibashvili’s statement: “Mr Koba [Subeliani], I would like to remind you that when you were in government the budget of the Ministry of Refugees was GEL 25 million. It is now GEL 50 million which means that we’ve doubled it,” is FALSE.