World Bank, Azerbaijan sign loan agreement
Azerbaijan, Baku, November 23 / Trend, N. Ismailova /
The Government of Azerbaijan and the World Bank (WB) yesterday signed a loan agreement envisioning the additional assignation of $33.2 million for the implementation of the judicial system enhancement project of Azerbaijan, Saida Bagirli, Deputy Office Manager of the WB Baku Office, told Trend on Wednesday.
The agreement was signed by Justice Minister Fikret Mammadov on behalf of Azerbaijan and Saida Bagirli on behalf of the WB.
Bagirli said of total loan, $9.2 million are assigned from the International Development Association (IDA), and $24.2 million are assigned from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
The share of participation of the Government of Azerbaijan in the project is $28.3 million. Hence, the project is valued at a total of $61.7 million. The project aims at development of the potential of Azerbaijan's judicial system and enhancement of its efficiency, and improvement of citizens' access to information and services.
"As part of this financing, we plan to pay larger attention to improvement of trials and to conduct of training courses for judges rather than modernization of infrastructure," Bagirli said.
The funds will be spent to cover additional expenses relating to the first similar project approved by the WB in 2006 as new technical assistance measures have been included and construction-related expenses have increased.
Azerbaijani judicial institutes have gained a certain success over the recent years. Particularly, a more transparent, competitive system of selection of judges has been put into effect, and the logistics of state and other courts has been improved. Nevertheless, much needs to be done, particularly, in the field of strengthening of institutional potential and improvement of the quality of services.
The current project consists of the following four components: the strengthening of management potentials; the modernization of courtrooms; the improvement of the quality of works of judges, judicial personnel and other law specialists; and the improvement of access to information.
The World Bank has assigned around $3 billion for implementation of projects in Azerbaijan since the country joined it in 1992.