Georgia’s household debt crisis existed long before COVID-19 hit, but it has been exacerbated by the current pandemic. To make matters worse, the credit environment is plagued with predatory conditions and a lack of regulation which has put many of Georgia’s most vulnerable citizens in a perpetual debt cycle.
Approximately 150 kilometres north of Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, and nestled into a valley below Mount Kazbek lies the town of Stepantsminda. Home to a population of fewer than 2,000 permanent residents, Stepantsminda has become a popular destination over the last decade and has economically benefited from Georgia’s growing tourism sector. Keti, a local woman from the Kazbegi region, joined the area’s emergent hospitality sector in 2015. She opened a hotel with the help of a loan from one of the country’s largest private banks, Bank of Georgia.
April 11, 2021 -