Top 5 WB Social Projects in Azerbaijan

Top 5 WB Social Projects in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 21 / Trend /

Trend Agency analytic centre head Ellada Khankishiyeva

The World Bank (WB) plans to review the portfolio of projects implemented in Azerbaijan from Nov.4. The main goal of the bank is to achieve the desired results and accelerate the execution of projects, improve their quality. To this end, WB Regional Director on South Caucasus Asad Alam is expected to visit Baku, the WB Baku office said. The Bank last time reviewed its portfolio two years ago.

The Bank's current portfolio in Azerbaijan makes up 20 projects worth $2.3 billion covering investments in transport, water and sanitation, agriculture and irrigation and health and education.

The Health Sector Reform Project

The project is approved by the WB Board of Directors on June 29, 2006, and its implementation began in December 2006. The total project cost is $ 86.75 million, of which $ 50 million is allocated by the WB.

The project aims to improve overall health system stewardship and financing, and enhance equitable access to, and technical and perceived quality of essential healthcare services, in the selected districts in a fiscally responsible and sustainable manner with a view to improving health outcomes.

The project has the following components: will assist the Ministry of Health (MOH) to build its capacity in policy making, planning and regulation to design and introduce mechanisms, instruments and tools; will improve the quality, technical, and efficiency of health care services in five pilot districts ; will support health care financing reform in Azerbaijan; will ensure effective administration and implementation of the project by supporting the operation of a Project Implementation Unit in the MOH.
Education Sector Development Project

The total project cost is $ 45.4 million, of which $ 25 million is allocated by the WB. A loan agreement for which was signed in September 2008.

The Second Education Sector Development Project for Azerbaijan objectives of the second phase adaptable program lending are to achieve more effective teaching and improved learning results in general secondary schools.

The project components are following: supporting the implementation of the general education curriculum and further curriculum reforms is to successfully engage teachers, students, and education managers in the implementation of the new general education curriculum, and to develop new learning materials and school libraries; modernizing in-service teacher training will support the education reform by modernizing in-service teacher training systems and practices, etc.

The strategy of reforming the Azerbaijani education system is estimated at $250 million.

IDPs Economic Development Support Projec (IDP EDSP)

In March 2008, the WB Board of Directors has allocated an extra credit for the IDP EDSP in the amount of $ 15 million through the International Development Association (IDA).

The objective of the Internally Displaced Persons Economic Development Support Project is to help improve in Azerbaijan living conditions of IDPs and enhance their economic opportunities and prospects for social integration.

The Additional Financing would also allow the Social Fund for the Development of IDPs to fund micro project of IDPs. Micro projects are carried out in the field of infrastructure and services sector to rebuild roads, electricity, water, construction and sub-artesian wells.
WB relates around 575,000 people or 15 percent of the population to IDPs indicating their needs in housing and services and lack of access to water and power supply, education and medical services.

Social Protection Development

The WB and Azerbaijan signed a loan agreement for the Social Protection Development Project worth $54.6 million in November 2008. The bank allocated $26.7 million to finance the project on IDA terms for 35 years with a grace period of 10 years and 0.75 percent per annum.

The objective of the Social Protection Development Project for Azerbaijan is to improve delivery of labor market and social protection interventions through strengthened institutions, enhanced institutional and human resources capacity, and improved targeting of social safety net programs.

There are four components to the project. The components aimed to a complete redesign of the labor market, including the improvement of labor laws, labor protection system, employment services, policy-welfare system, modernization of the pension system.
The project is planned for five years from the period of implementation from 2008 to 2013.

Second Water Supply and Sanitation Project In 2008, the WB and the Azerbaijani government signed an agreement on the allocation of $ 230 million loan through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and $ 30 million soft loan under the IDA to finance the Second Water Supply and Sanitation Project.

The objective of the project is to improve the availability, quality, reliability and sustainability of Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) services in selected regional (rayon) centers in Azerbaijan.

The project covers 21 regions, five of which are located in the Nakhichivan Autonomous Republic, and the rest - Kurdamir, Ujar, Zardab and other areas.

The preliminary cost of the project of construction of deepwater sewage runoff from Hovsani aeration station into the Caspian Sea is 109 million, $ 92 million of which will be provided by the IBRD. According to the project, the station will be located 15 kilometers from the center of Baku.

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