25-02-2008, 12:29, Saw: 466

Successful implementation of Rural Investment Project as well as the requests from Local Executive Committees, municipalities and rural population of new rayons encouraged the parties and resulted in the mutual agreement between the Government of Azerbaijan and the World Bank on additional funding for the extension of the Project. Negotiations regarding the Credit by the International Development Association (IDA) in the amount of SDR 9,500,000 ($ 15 000 000) were held on February 13, 2008 in Baku, Azerbaijan. The total amount of the additional financing comprises $ 25 560 000; whereas SDR 9,500,000 ($ 15 000 000) will be provided by the IDA as a Credit; $ 8 900 000 is the Government Counterpart Share and the remaining $ 1 660 000 will be the Beneficiary contribution

It has been agreed that, the additional financing will be used to expand the project area up to the north and north-west regions of the Republic. Considering the lower income level of the population of the above-mentioned regions, initial idea of the implementation of AzRIP in these regions and the great number of requests from the communities, the World Bank Task Team decided that the inclusion of these regions is reasonable. Besides, the continuation of the project in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic where the living conditions are difficult because of the blockade has been agreed between the parties. During the negotiations, the Government of Azerbaijan was represented by the following respectable representatives as Mr. Ismet Abasov, the Minister of Agriculture; Mr. Razim Veliyev, General Director of the State Agency on Agricultural Credits under the Ministry of Agriculture; Mr. Soubhan Asgerov, AzRIP Project Director as well as the representatives of the Ministries of Finance, Economic Development and Justice.

AzRIP operations will cover five zones:

Additional Financing will cover: Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Aghstafa, Ismayilly, Gazakh, Gabala, Tovuz, Oghuz, Gadabay, Sheki, Dashkesen, Gakh, Khanlar, Balaken, Barda, Zagatala, Tartar, Guba, Goranboy, Gusar, Shamakhi, Samukh, Gadabay, Aghsu, Khachmaz and Gobustan rayons. It is intended to extend the project lifetime for additional 3 years covering the years of 2005- 2012.

We would like to emphasize that the Azerbaijan Rural Investment Project is successfully implemented by the State Agency on Agricultural Credits under the Ministry of Agriculture.

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