New opportunities for sustainable community development in Western regions

8 May 2008

 BP on behalf of its co-venturers in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG), Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC), Shah Deniz (SD) and South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) projects recently awarded a major grant for the next phase of their community investment programme (CIP). The project will cover regions along the western part of the BTC/SCP pipeline corridor. 

The programme will involve those communities that demonstrate a commitment to becoming models for sustainable community development. It will focus on income generation, agricultural development, social infrastructure and health awareness enhancement. The duration of this programme is 18 months. 

The overall programme objective is to strengthen communities’ operational capability and linkages to local government structures through a number of newly-designed projects. 

The programme will also provide an extensive training package covering a wide range of development areas. These will include external relations, legal registration procedures, advanced business planning, enhancement of financial and managerial systems and development of long-term community economic plans. It is expected that the trainings will result in registration of successful communities as legal entities eligible for receiving micro-credits to be offered as part of this project. 

“As part of the programme tens of communities will receive capacity building trainings. In addition, the apprenticeship component of the programme will cover some 60 young people who will receive vocational training and five of these will then be supported to start their own businesses. We will also hold a consolidated budget competition to select up to three communities for implementation of community development projects attracting additional local donors, says Aydin Gashimov, BP’s Stakeholder Investment and Reporting Manager. 
“We continue to support communities along the BTC/SCP pipelines creating new opportunities for their development through needs analysis, business and economic trainings, apprenticeship courses and other activities. We believe the most active and best performing communities will significantly benefit from these programmes and will reach a level when they can register as independent community-based organizations”. 

The implementer of the programme is Save the Children who will partner themselves, as part of the capacity-building component, with three national non-governmental organizations - Umid, Bilik and the Young Enlighteners. 

Notes to Editors: 

BP and its co-venturers’ community investment programmes (CIP) in Azerbaijan were initially designed to make a positive contribution to the lives of communities along the BTC and SCP pipelines by promoting sustainable social and economic development. This overall objective was then modified to include all communities directly impacted by not only BTC and SCP but also the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli and Shah Deniz projects. 

The implementation of the CIP is carried out through a series of regional and community-based projects designed to conserve biodiversity, deliver immediate and long term benefits, and empower local communities to resolve issues for themselves. 

Since the start of the CIP over one hundred communities have been involved in it. The target area begins at the Sangachal Terminal and ends at Agstafa covering 13 regions of Azerbaijan along the BTC and SCP route - Baku, Garadagh, Hajigabul, Kurdamir, Ujar, Agdash, Yevlakh, Goranboy, Ganja, Samukh, Shamkir, Tovuz and Agstafa. 
To date a total of about 300 infrastructure development initiatives have been implemented in these areas through mobilization, capacity building trainings and micro-projects. These have included: 
  • 52 educational facilities newly-constructed or rehabilitated, 14 of these have been computerized
  • 75 potable and irrigation water supply systems, about 221 km of roads and 42 medical facilities newly-constructed or rehabilitated
  • 183,970 people received direct medical support
  • 497 medical staff and 4,330 farmers trained
  • 12,901 micro loans issued.
For further information please contact:
Tamam Bayatly, BP Baku Press office, telephone:      994 (0) 12 599 4557