On Friday the implementation of the $57m Azerbaijan Humanitarian Assistance Program (AHAP) adimistered by the Mercy Corp. and financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from 1998 will be over, the Mercy Corp. Baku Office told Trend.
The program targets 500 communities and benefited over 2 million people in 23 regions throughout Azerbaijan (Central and Southern area, Baku and Sumgayit, and Nakhchivan). Within AHAP, 1,488 separate community-led projects were addressed to the social-economic and health problems of these communities through shelter, community development, health & nutrition, information, economic opportunities, and integrated community development programs.
The program included organization of different exhibitions dedicated to development of united communities and economic opportunities, as well as health and nutrition. Results include the training of over 1,000 health professionals, who works at 234 rehabilitated clinics, the creation of 45,518 businesses and 9,068 jobs, and the disbursement of 41,013 group
and individual economic development loans to community members.
Since 2000, AHAP has transitioned from the provision of humanitarian assistance to long-term development program aimed at improving the living conditions, health, nutrition, and income opportunities for those displaced and adversely affected by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Over 400 community members, who were part of the AHAP community mobilization initiatives, were elected to Municipal Councils in the elections of December 2004. The program will be closed on January 13, these important issues will be continued through a number of USAID initiatives, including the recently announced $15.5 million Strengthening Azerbaijan Civil Society Project and $11.5 million Community Development Activity in Azerbaijan, which will build upon many activities and approaches initiated under AHAP.
AHAP was implemented by 13 international non-governmental organizations (ACDI/VOCA, ADRA, American Red Cross, CARE, CHF, Childrens Aid Direct, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Pathfinder, Relief International, Save the Children, UMCOR, and World Vision) through 34 subgrants.
It is should be mentioned that from 1998 to 2006 the United States has allocated $57m in assistance to Azerbaijani IDPs.