Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend A.Gasimova / The funds granted by the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the US Department of State will enable the International Eurasian Press Fund establish regional branches in the Aghstafa and Fizuly regions of Azerbaijan to conduct exercises for all those persons who have suffered from mine explosions, Rahman Mammadov, the Program Director of the Fund announced.
The Office of Weapon Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs has awarded a total of $187,084 to support mine victims in Azerbaijan. "It was very important for us to win this grant and expand the organization's activities, Mammadov said, This grant will enable us to encourage mine victims to work."
The International Eurasia Press Fund has been active in Azerbaijan since 1992 with respect to preventing and resolving conflicts, finance publications on Azerbaijan refugees and internally displaced people and human rights.
The major direction of measures is the improvement of public awareness in the medical legal sectors.
The Fund's projects are applied throughout the territory of the country. Their cost frequently exceeds $200,000. The annual turnover of the organization is $600,000.
According to the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA), over 400mln sq m of Azerbaijani territory is mined or has unexploded mines. Since September 2001, 53 people died and 122 received injuries as a result of 83 mine explosions.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 due to the territorial claims by Armenia against Azerbaijan. Armenia has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani land including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven Districts of the country surrounding it. Since 1992 to the present time, these territories have been under the occupation of the Armenian Forces. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France and USA) are presently holding peaceful negotiations.