Integrated Rural Development for IDP Communities in Azerbaijan through Revitalization of Kahriz Water Supply System” Project’s Kick off Meeting
The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) funded “Integrated Rural Development for IDP Communities in Azerbaijan through Revitalization of Kahriz Water Supply System” Project was kicked off on October 29, 2018 in an event hosted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) at the Hyatt Regency Baku. The KOICA, as the donor organization of the project, allocated 4.5 million dollars for the rehabilitation of the kahrizes in eight districts of the Republic of Azerbaijan that are densely populated with IDPs. IOM, as an implementing agency, will renovate kahrizes and rehabilitate irrigation channels within 4 years in targeted areas with up to 28,000 IDPs residents. The project will also focus on the capacity building and business development. At the result, the project activities will help to increase livelihood opportunities and access of rural communities to water resources. Representatives from the Government, Civil Society and International Organizations attended the event. Mr. Fuad Huseynov, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Refugees and IDP Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Serhan Aktoprak, Chief of IOM Mission of Azerbaijan and Ms. Kumok Park, Country Director of the KOICA Azerbaijan Office delivered their opening speeches. Mr. Fuad Huseynov in his speech emphasized that Azerbaijan is a country, which hosts, in per capita terms, one of the highest caseloads of refugees and IDPs in the world. He expressed his gratitude to the KOICA and IOM for launching a project covering this issue and assurance that all participants of the project will contribute their best to the implementation of this project He also called other international communities to further strengthen cooperation for refugees and internally displaced persons’ sake. He also touched upon measures taken by the Government in order to ease sufferings of refugees and IDPs and settle the problems this vulnerable group is facing with. Mr. Serhan Aktoprak noted that it is already a second project with the KOICA on Rehabilitation of Kahrizes. He spoke about the significance of the current project, as well as, cooperation relations with the KOICA. He remarked that the project will ultimately contribute to Azerbaijan’s efforts to fulfill three Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) such as SDG 1(No poverty), SDG5 (Gender equality) and SDG 6 (Clean water and sanitation). He extended his hope that similar projects could be realized continuously with the support of KOICA not only in Azerbaijan but also in other counties. Ms. Kumok Park underlined that the KOICA has been carrying out Grant Projects based on the new policy which is built upon the “3 P” pillars (People, Prosperity, and Peace), with the People placed at the center. She noted that economic and social progress should be achieved for the prosperity of humanity and peace should be in place and sustained in pursuing this prosperity. She added that the Kahriz Project is perfectly in line with the KOICA’s 3P philosophies. Following the speeches, a short video documentary on previous KOICA-IOM Project was screened and PowerPoint presentation was made on the current Project by the Program Coordinator.