Azerbaijan, WB sign loan agreement on agricultural project (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 19 / Trend J. Nasibova /
The Azerbaijani government and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, part of the WB) have signed a loan agreement on the second project "Azerbaijan Rural Investments" (AzRIP-2), the Azerbaijani Ministry of Agriculture said on Friday.
The agreement was signed during the meeting of Minister of Agriculture Ismet Abbasov with a WB delegation led by Country Manager Larisa Leshchenko.
The project cost is $ 53.6 million, of which $30 million will be allocated through the IBRD, $23.6 million at the expanse of the Azerbaijani government's stake in the project.
This project is based on the results of the first one, which helped increase revenues of 600,000 farmers, improve irrigation services for 700,000 people and provide 150 rural residents with drinking water. The project will cover five main areas - plain Shirvan, Mugan-Salyan, Nakhchivan, northern and north-western areas.
The minister said that the project, implemented by beneficial using the potential in the regions of the country, will contribute to improve the living standards of the population, develop entrepreneurship, dynamic development of economy and play a role in achieving the goals of the state program on sustainable development and poverty reduction in Azerbaijan for 2008-2015.
Leshchenko said that the project implementation helps to improve the lives of over 1.5 million rural people in the country, as well as contribute to the development of rural areas in Azerbaijan.
The project consists of three components, including the development of community infrastructure in rural areas, support rural infrastructure, as well as the management and monitoring of the project results.
WB has allocated about $3.1 billion for 43 projects in the country since Azerbaijan joined WB.
The new project is a continuation of the first one. As opposed to it, it covers the whole territory. The implementation of the first project will be completed in 2012. The second project is designed for 2012-2017. Moreover, while it presently covers only 45 regions, the second one aims to cover 56.
The loan agreement for the AzRIP first project was signed on September 23, 2004 and came into force on December 29, 2004. The total cost is $21.1 million, $15 million of which accounts for International Development Association credit, $3.3 million in a grant from the Japanese government and the remainder is paid by the government and beneficiaries (communities) all sharing $1.25 million in the project.