The Azerbaijan State News Agency

ECONOMY

GRANTS AWARDED FOR BTC AND SCP COMMUNITY INVESTMENT PROGRAMME IN AZERBAIJAN

The award of grants for implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) and the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) projects' Community Investment Programme (CIP) has been issued. According to the Baku representative office of BP as operator of BTC and SCP, the grant was awarded through a tender announced on18 November 2002. After the close of the tender date of 17 January 2003, a total of 30 applications were received for the BTC/SCP project with 17 from international humanitarian organizations and 13 from local organizations. The selection was based on such criteria as sustainable development, active participation of the people, development of the private sector and transparency.

The BTC/SCP Community Investment Programme in Azerbaijan is aimed at making a positive contribution to the lives of the communities living near the BTC and SCP pipeline corridors by promoting sustainable social and economic development. The BTC/SCP Community Investment Programme will directly target at least the 82 communities in the pipeline corridor. It will also directly and indirectly impact many other communities close to the pipeline corridor. The Programme focuses on income generation, agricultural development, social infrastructure and health awareness.

The grant for this programme was awarded to four international organizations namely Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA Azerbaijan), the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Save the Children Federation and the International Medical Corps (IMC).

Micro-finance services will be delivered by Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA Azerbaijan). The value of this programme is $1,309,953 of which $1,056,684 is BTC and SCP investment in the communities and $253,268 comes from FINCA Azerbaijan. This programme will provide micro-finance services to local entrepreneurs along the pipeline route, promoting the growth and development of small businesses. The programme will provide loans to local micro-enterprises for trade, production and services. The loans will range from $85 to $5,000 per person, depending on business needs. FINCA Azerbaijan is an affiliate of FINCA International, a U.S.-based network of micro-finance institutions, and is licensed by the National Bank of Azerbaijan

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