Emory University has been awarded a $2 million federal grant to develop a nursing program in the country of Georgia.

The two-year grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development will be used to pay teachers, provide supplies and build classroom space, a simulation lab and a clinical skill laboratory at a hospital to be selected in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi.

Doctors and nurses from Emory will travel to Tbilisi over the next two years as they build the program. “During the program, we will be developing a template for Emory to use for nursing education in other transitional countries,”  Kenneth Walker, a physician and professor of medicine at Emory, said in a news release. 

Georgia, which has a population of about 4.6 million, gained its independence following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. It has a gross domestic product, the value of all its goods and services, of about $21.6 billion, which ranks it 117th in the world, just below Albania and above Gabon, according to the CIA World Fact Book.

The country of Georgia recently appointed Atlanta attorney John Hall Jr. as its first honorary consul for the Southeast U.S. Mr. Hall will conduct consul business out of anl office at his law firm at 1180 West Peachtree St. A Sept. 19 fundraiser at Atlanta City Hall will raise money for citizens of Georgia, including those displaced in fighting last August between Georgian and Russian troops. Georgian First Lady Sandra Saakashvili is scheduled to attend the fundraiser. The event will feature authentic Georgian food.

Atlanta Hawks center Zaza Pachulia, a native of the country of Georgia, is on the host committee for the fundraiser. For more information, click here .