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Mission of the World Bank Vice-President

15-09-2010, 10:10, Saw: 221

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Mr. Philippe Le Houérou, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia region recently completed a two-day business visit to Azerbaijan.

The aim of his visit is to familiarize himself with recent economic and social developments in Azerbaijan and to discuss with the country's leadership, senior government officials, development partners, business community, and civil society the possible ways in which the World Bank can support sustainable economic growth and diversification, and human capital development in the country.

During his visit, the round-table discussion was organized at the World Bank Country Office meeting hall on September 13, 2010 where the Vice-President met with the beneficiaries of Azerbaijan Rural Investment project being implemented by the State Agency on Agricultural Credits under the Ministry of Agriculture of Azerbaijan Republic with funding from the Government of Azerbaijan and the World Bank. (Azerbaijan Rural Investment Project is one of the 20 projects that the World Bank presently finances.)

The round-table discussion was attended by the outgoing Country Manager, Mr. Gregory Jedrzejczak, the new Country Manager, Mr. Joseph Owen, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus, Mr. Asad Alam, Task Team Leader for AzRIP, Mr. Daniel Owen, Senior Operations officers Mrs. Saida Baghirly and Mr. Rufiz Chiragzadeh, AzRIP Director Mr. Subhan Asgarov, Deputy Director and Community Development/Capacity Enhancement Manager, Mrs. Gulbaniz Ganbarova, Project Assistance Team Leader, Mrs. Kamala Aghayeva and the project beneficiaries with different level of work experience.

Mr. Philippe Le Houérou, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia region greeted the participants and stated the aim of his visit. He expressed his wish to hear directly from the project beneficiaries about their activities under AzRIP which implements community projects in rural communities targeting to reduce poverty and improve living conditions and access to infrastructure services through investing in local infrastructures.

Yegana Mammadova (Community Project Committee (CPC) Chairperson from Ashaghy Yayji community, Sharur rayon Nakhchivan AR), Rubaba Asgarova and Talib Isgandarli (Deputy CPC Chairman and CPC member in Jamaldin community, Julfa rayon), Vagif Hasratov (CPC member in Tofigi community, Aghdash rayon), Hashim Hashimov (CPC member in Mollaisagly community, Ismayilly rayon), Almaz Bayramova (CPC chairlady in Gurbanzade community, Goranboy rayon), Sevda Veliyeva (Fakhraly community, Goranboy rayon), Yashar Garayev (CPC chairman in Bijo community, Aghsu rayon), Ahliman Teymurov (CPC chairman in Kamally community, Saatly rayon), Etibar Ajamov (CPC chairman in Ashaghy Aghaly community, Bilasuvar rayon), Abulfat Suleymanov (Hushun community, Aghdash rayon), Gurban Ibrahimov (Garakhidir community, Goychay rayon) spoke about the AzRIP supported activities including identification, design, construction, repair/rehabilitation, operation and maintenance of the rural infrastructures based on the urgent needs prioritized by the communities, as well as mentioned the achievements gained under Capacity Building and Project Management components. Beneficiaries expressed their impressions on confident and active involvement of the community members in community project cycle stages, monitoring during the project implementation, community contribution collection and recording, sustainability, community fund management, environmental protection during the implementation, technical safety and some other issues. Providing comprehensive answers to the Vice-President's questions, the community representatives shared with him their opinions and recommendations regarding successful future of the communities too.

At the end of round-table discussion, Mr. Philippe Le Houreou expressed his satisfaction about the meeting and wished success to the project administration and staff, as well as wished successful future to the communities who have already enhanced their community development capabilities and skills by providing their neighboring communities with training based on their gained experience, by sharing their experiences with those communities, by benefiting from the opportunity to integrate and grow, and by being recognized as community-based organizations that move forward with continuous development. The event was concluded with the demonstration of breadboard models of the most successful community projects installed at the lobby of meeting hall and a group photo was taken with the project beneficiaries and Mr. Philippe Le Houérou, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia region

Next day The World Bank Task Team went on a supervision mission where they visited communities supported by AzRIP. Mr. Daniel Owen, World Bank Task Team Leader, and Mr. Jozeph Owen, World Bank Country Office Manager, traveled to villages in the Northern Zone with AzRIP Director, Mr. Subhan Asgarov, Deputy Director and Community Development/Capacity Enhancement Manager, Mrs. Gulbaniz Ganbarova, and AzRIP staff members. The primary objectives of their mission were to see AzRIP's achievements, to ensure that the community projects complied with required procedures, and to view the progress of the strategic plans, operations, and maintenance activities. The mission also had chance to see and analyze the lessons learnt and experiences gained.

During their field visit to the Northern Zone, the mission visited three rayons: the Shemakha rayon, where they saw the completed Potable Water Supply project in Melikchobanli, the Aghsu rayon, where they saw the Road Rehabilitation project in Pirhasanly, and the Ismayilly rayon, where they visited a Road Rehabilitation project in Galinchagh that is currently in its tendering stage. While they were in Aghsu, the mission met with Mr. Anvar Seyidaliyev, the Head of the Aghsu rayon Executive Committee, to discuss the quality of the community projects that target to improve rural population's living conditions and access to infrastructure services.

The World Bank mission showed their appreciation for AzRIP's performance by thanking the project administrators for their efforts and wishing them continued success.

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