WB to allocate new loan to Azerbaijan to promote IDPs' economic development
Azerbaijan, Baku, August 1 / Trend I. Khalilova /
The World Bank (WB) plans to hold the last stage of negotiations with the Azerbaijani government on a new loan to assist the economic development of internally displaced persons in Azerbaijan to the amount of $ 50 million in mid-September, WB's Baku office said.
The total project cost is estimated at $74.5 million.
The Azerbaijani government will finance 25 percent of project cost and expenses for taxes (VAT).
The bank has allocated Azerbaijan three credits - $ 10 million, $11.5 million and $ 15 million on concessional terms through the International Development Association (IDA) within the project of promoting the economic development of internally displaced persons (IDP EDSP).
The fourth credit will be given through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD is a part of the WB), due to the fact that Azerbaijan has no access to IDA concessional credits.
The WB office said that another distinctive feature is that the new project has new components.
First, the communities of internally displaced persons have the opportunity to participate in the implementation of micro-projects on infrastructure at the expense of the WB loan.
Second, trainings will be organized to increase employment for displaced persons. They will be trained to provide them with the work on their specialty.
Third, a microcredit component is included in the project.
The project will cover the whole country. No restrictions on regions, where displaced people live, are provided, the office said.
The office does not exclude the possibility that the World Bank will continue assisting Azerbaijan in this direction. The assistance can be provided in the rehabilitation of the liberated territories [20 percent of Azerbaijani territory is under occupation].
The cost of the project's first phase is $12.6 million, of which $11.5 million will be allocated by the WB. Contrary to practice, project funds were introduced a year earlier, but 50 out of the 200 micro-projects on infrastructure were left complete due to inflation. Their implementation demanded additional funds.
Only $24.19 million was allocated to finish the project, of which 9.6 million SDR ($15 million) fell to the WB, and $8.69 million (including VAT at $3.69 million) went to the government.
The project will be completed on Dec. 31, 2011.
Under the project, 108,000 IDPs will receive benefits.
The WB allocated a total of three credits to support Azerbaijani IDPs. The WB allocated the first loan for $10 million in 2001. These funds financed 192 micro-projects for infrastructure rehabilitation in areas where IDPs live, which funded roughly 170,000 people.