Georgia: The "balcony of Europe"
The Georgians refer to their country as "the balcony of Europe". This is because of the mountains that cover 87 % of the country – and the close ties that the former Soviet republic is seeking to establish with Europe. The collapse of the Soviet Union hit especially Georgia hard: first unemployment and corruption, and later on Russia's economic blockade slowed the pace of development. Even though Georgia has an almost unlimited potential for hydropower, a reliable power supply was not a given in the first years after independence. Consequently, KfW Development Bank has been working in the energy sector since 1993 and has made great strides in this area: Georgia has been able to meet its electricity demand from its own generation already since 2007. KfW also supports the country in the development of its municipal infrastructure. Another priority is the creation of national parks which are designed to preserve the unique species diversity consistent with the needs of the rural population.