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 Report - Monthly Activity Report (WVI)

 Report date: 28.02.1998

Executive Summary

During the month of March, World Vision Azerbaijan distributed 604 MT of supplementary food rations of flour, peas, oil and sugar to 43,984 beneficiaries from the areas served by the Mingechevir operation, while 694 MT of food was distributed to 47,195 beneficiaries from the areas served by the Imishli operation. UNHCR donated 10,000 blankets and 100,000 vegetable seed packets to WV. Nutritional survey continues in 30 districts in which WV/WFP food distribution program operates. AZEF provided $85,450 in loans to create and expand 172 IDP businesses. CSRP completed work on 15 large public buildings in Sumgait, home to 5,628 beneficiaries.

1. Supplemental Food Assistance

The first month of the second round of the 1998 distribution of World Food Programme (WFP) supplementary food rations to thirty districts throughout Azerbaijan was completed on 31 March. During March, over 604 MT of supplementary food rations of flour, peas, oil and sugar have been distributed to 43,984 beneficiaries from the areas served by the Mingechevir operation, while over 694 MT of food was distributed to 47,195 beneficiaries from the areas served by the Imishli operation. 10,000 blankets donated by UNHCR to WV were distributed to IDP families in mountainous regions and Yevlak. Each of the 5,000 recipient families received two blankets.

The Food For Work program involves 139 families in Ganje and Mingechevir, with FFW work projects addressing various needs of the IDP community in these areas. These projects provide food for the target beneficiaries for an additional period of time in return for work that will benefit the community. Projects include improved housing, sanitation, income generating initiatives, and health education and awareness. Additionally, FFW sorted and packaged UNHCR vegetable seed packets into 6,000 family packs for distribution to IDPs with access to land for planting.

A nutritional survey is being conducted in the 30 districts in which World Vision currently distributes food assistance to over 190,000 beneficiaries. This survey assesses household food security and nutrition for IDP children and families currently receiving food rations, and is being conducted by World Vision in order to target the most vulnerable recipients for future food assistance. Surveys in regions of the Imishli distribution were completed in February, and the survey in Ganje/Mingechevir regions were conducted in March.

2. Income Generation

The Azerbaijan Enterprise Fund (AZEF), formerly known as the Quick Impact Income Project, seeks to provide small loans for business creation among IDPs, to increase family income, food security and standards of living of IDP families in Ganje, Mingechevir, Gazakh and Baku/Sumgait. In March, $85,450 in loans has been disbursed, with an average loan size of $497 for the month. An additional 172 AZEF-supported businesses have been created or expanded. AZEF currently has 938 active loan clients. Since its inception, AZEF has lent out over $712,000, to start or expand a total of 2,425 businesses, the largest of all microenterprise programs in Azerbaijan. Of these 2,425 business loans, 1,867 have been new loans (77%), while 558 have been repeat loans (23%). Of the 2,425 businesses, 999 or 41% have been women-owned businesses. The repayment rate on loans has been 95%, and participant families have reported an average increase in household income of over 100%.

3. Community Shelter Rehabilitation Project (CSRP)

CSRP completed rehabilitation work on 15 large public buildings in Sumgait, home to 5,628 beneficiaries. With completion of the rehabilitation work, March marked the handing over of the responsibility for ongoing maintenance to the IDP communities in the shelters. SWG and craftsmen, equiped with toolkits and cache of extra supplies, are now responsible for ongoing maintenance, monitoring of needs, cleaning rosters and cleaning kits per floor. Community celebrations marked the end of work at the shelters, with WV staff, community residents, Shelter Working Group (SWG) leaders, and contractors attending.

WV’s continued interaction and dialog with Sumgait’s local governing bodies has proved fruitful, concerning both sanitation and water supply. Garbage collection points have been located at each building, with the community deciding the placement of the steel trash collection bins. These bins will significantly decrease the amount of garbage in and around the shelters, in order to cut down on disease and vermin. However, without the cooperation of local government authorities to regularly pick up and dispose of trash from these collection bins, the efforts of the community are wasted. Through WV’s active coordination and dialog, Sumgait’s Executive Committee and government bodies have agreed to perform this needed community service, which had been neglected for several years since the influx of IDPs from Nagorno Karabakh. Additionally, Sumgait’s water authority has agreed to maintain the drainagae and water systems which WV repaired or replaced to and around IDP buildings. This will ensure that water continues to be provided to the IDP residents of public buildings, and proper drainage will ensure that stagnant water pose no health threat to children and the community.

Site selection, cluster assessments and sociological surveys have been completed by WV engineers and Community Liaison Workers (CLW) for 36 large public buildings in Sumgait and Baku. These buildings constitute 27 buildings in Sumgait and 9 in Baku, housing over 2,500 IDP families. Having rehabilitated approximately 55% of large public buildings in Sumgait with a population of 70% IDP or more, WV will target the remaining 45%. Work will also focus on significantly needy sites in Baku and surrounding areas on the Apsheron peninsula.

WV’s detailed experience and existing relationships with the IDP populations of these areas allows for: 1.) ease in targeting, due to WV’s detailed knowledge of the locations and status of these groups; and 2.) ease of interaction, as WV’s programs and quality of work are well known to IDPs, Executive Committees and government officials. IDP communities in public shelters have expressed their desire to participate in WV’s CSRP project, having witnessed the positive impact in other rehabilitated shelters, and are willing to engage in the necessary community organizing and leadership required for inclusion of their building in the program.

WV’s Community Outreach continues to empower the IDP community in large public buildings to identify and address their needs. In order to assist the community transition to self-reliance upon WV’s departure, CLWs are making special presentations on garbage, cleaning, and sanitation/hygiene, and effects upon residents’ health. These presentations build upon the community programs on health and hygiene initiated earlier in the program.

Since 1995, World Vision Azerbaijan has rehabilitated over 473 public buildings and shelters, providing sanitation, safety and security to over 34,000 beneficiaries.

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