Interest-Free Loans for Land Mine Sufferers in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan, Baku, 4 June / corr. Trend J. Babayeva/ Those suffering from land mines in Azerbaijan will be granted interest-free loanss to start their business, Hafiz Seyfikhanov, head of the Land Mining Company public union of Azerbaijan said to media.
According to Seyfikhanov, the pilot project on granting mine sufferers interest-free loans was implemented last year. "The pilot project which covered three regions, Fizuli, Terter and Gandja, was implemented from April 2006 to September 2007. Each region was granted funds worth €1,500," he said.
According to Seyfikhanov, the volume of the funds to be allocated for the mine sufferers will be increased this year. "The regions will be granted €2,500 each within the project. The project does not specify how many people will be granted loans," he said.
According to Seyfikhanov, mine sufferers choose the field of business themselves. "The allocated funds are kept under control. The loan is granted for a year and a person, who was granted a loan, is required to repay half of the loan in a year," Seyfikhanov said.
The donor organization is Swiss Fund for Aid to Land Mine Sufferers, he said.
"The regions which the project will cover have not been selected yet. The project has already gone through first discussion in the Board of Directors of the Swiss Fund. The project is expected to be launched at the end of June," Seyfikhanov said.
Land Mining Company public union of Azerbaijan was established in 1998 and it was issued a registration by the Justice Ministry in 2007. Azerbaijan is first among the South Caucasian countries for the number of land mines. The land mine sufferers total to about 3,000 people in Azerbaijan with 450 of the being victims of the mines.
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