ANKARA: World Bank Supports Internally Displaced Persons in Azerbaij

Journal of Turkish Weekly
Feb 16 2005

World Bank Supports Internally Displaced Persons in Azerbaijan

WASHINGTON- The World Bank today approved a US$11.5 million
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Economic Development Support

This project aims to improve living conditions, enhance economic
opportunities and prospects for social integration for IDPs.

Azerbaijan’s armed conflict with Armenia over the Upper Garabagh
region, which lasted from 1992 to 1994, left over 30,000 dead and
over 1 million people displaced. About 575, 000, or 15 percent of the
country’s population, became “internally displaced persons.” Many
IDPs live in conditions where infrastructure, housing and service
needs are substantial. Large numbers dwell in excessively poor
housing conditions in school dormitories and former hotels, or occupy
public buildings. Others live in informal settlements that often lack
the most basic services, such as water, electricity, schools and
health facilities. Economic opportunities are limited and
unemployment is high.

“The project will extend the Government’s efforts to improve the
living conditions of IDPs who, as communities, will identify what
investments are most needed,” said Ellen Hamilton, head of the World
Bank team designing the project.

The IDP Economic Development Support Project will consist of two main
components: micro-projects and micro-credits. The first component
will finance the preparation and implementation of up to
approximately 200 small-scale projects (average cost about US$50,000)
to rehabilitate, repair or reconstruct basic small infrastructure,
social infrastructure and temporary shelter facilities. Under the
second component, which is completely funded from the counterpart
funding resources, financing to Partner Lending Institutions will be
provided for the extension of micro-credits to IDPs.

By the time the project is completed, IDP communities will have
benefited from new improved basic small infrastructure (water supply
and sewage networks, electricity distribution networks, access roads
and drainage systems), social infrastructure (schools and community
centers), and temporary shelter facilities. IDPs will also have
benefited from access to micro-credit for income-generating

The IDP EDS Project has a maturity of 35 years, including a ten-year
grace period.

Azerbaijan joined the World Bank in 1992. Since then, commitments to
the country total approximately US$622 million for 25 operations.

Press Release via Baku Today