Corps Wins $750,000 grant for Cluster Access to Business Services Project
The Organization Will Provide Business Services and Support Economic Development
in Southern Regions of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan, Baku - In 2002 Mercy Corps, an International relief and
development agency, has been awarded a $750,000 grant from the United States
Agency for International Development (USAID) to implement a three-year business
services project. The project will support over 4,000 animal breeders and poultry
producers in the two southern Azerbaijan regions: Masally and Lankaran. Activities
are designed to build capacity of 54 local veterinarians and develop farmer
clusters in remote villages to ease access to the veterinary and production
A key constraint for these farmers is high production costs due to livestock
mortality, low breeding rates, and inability to meet State Disease Control Department
Over time the project aims to improve profitability for clusters of rural poor
and women farmers by increasing access to a network of trained vet and production
advice services providers. Mercy Corps expects that as a result of the project
activities rural livestock and poultry producers will experience a 20-50% increase
in the profitability. This will be achieved due to effective animal diseases
preventive measures, modified breeding and feeding practices.
The Masally and Lankaran regions were selected for several reasons. First,
it is an area with crucial economic potential particularly in the agricultural
sector. Second, it is one of the most isolated areas in the country with up
to 50% of the villages in remote locations.
"This award demonstrates the commitment of the United States to the need
for business development in Azerbaijan," said the Project Director Kamran
Abdullayev. "Our program is based on best practices worldwide and focused
on innovations that advance the field of business services. We look forward
to this new challenge to help foster a developed Azerbaijan."
Mercy Corps is an international relief and development agency that exists to
alleviate suffering, poverty, and oppression by helping people build secure,
productive, and just communities. The agency launched its activities in Azerbaijan
in early 1997 with a shelter program for the refugees and Internally Displaced
Persons (IDPs). In 1998 USAID awarded $45 million to Mercy Corps for the six-year
Azerbaijan Humanitarian Assistance Program (AHAP).
Under the AHAP, Mercy Corps has provided grants for community based projects
in primary health care, credit and business development services and community
development in over 23 cities and rayons of Azerbaijan. In 2001 Mercy Corps
also began implementation of a USAID funded Child Survival Project in Masalli,
Yardimli and Lerik.
For more information please contact:
Naila Mustafayeva at Mercy Corps
Cell: (050) 381 10 76