The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $20 million loan to stem coastal erosion around the popular Black Sea tourist destination of Batumi.
Batumi, the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara, with a population of more than 150,000, is one of the fastest developing cities along the Black Sea coast and plays a significant role in the country’s economy and tourism sector. This coastal area attracts visitors from throughout Georgia and neighboring countries.
“This investment will help halt coastal erosion at one of the country’s most popular summer seaside resort areas,” said Anand Chiplunkar, Director of the Urban Development and Water Division of ADB’s Central and West Asia Department.
This loan, the fourth under a $300 million Sustainable Urban Transport Investment Program, a multitranche financing facility approved by ADB in 2010, is earmarked for coastal protection works along the 5 kilometer Batumi coastline where erosion threatens beachfront, roadways, bicycle lanes and buildings.
“The project will support tourism and benefit urban residents and the local economy,” said Bertrand Goalou, Urban Development Specialist in ADB’s Central and West Asia Department.
“This investment, financed from ADB’s commercial resources, complements ADB’s substantial support to Georgia for water supply and sanitation, road and energy infrastructure,” says Kathie Julian, ADB’s Georgia-based Country Director.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. ADB has supported Georgia since 2007. As of 2014, ADB assistance to Georgia totaled more than $1.6 billion, including approved loans and technical assistance grants.