UN Migration Agency Launches Integrated Rural Development Project for Internally Displaced Communities in Azerbaijan

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Serhan Aktoprak, Chief of Mission in IOM Azerbaijan, delivering a keynote speech during the official launch of the project. © IOM 2018

Baku – Yesterday (29/10) in Baku, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, officially launched the “Integrated Rural Development for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Communities in Azerbaijan through Revitalization of the Kahriz Water Supply System” project, financed by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

The four-year project aims to provide safe and consistent water supplies for over 8,000 families in eight districts through the renovation of 40 kahrizes – a traditional, sustainable water supply system. Building upon IOM’s successful past experiences and unique expertise, the project’s activities will not be limited to the rehabilitation of kahrizes, but will also support the Government of Azerbaijan to establish a national master plan for kahriz revitalization; strengthen the local capacity of kahriz engineers and kankans (kahriz technicians); and support small business start-ups run by IDPs – especially women IDPs – through assistance with the creation of micro and small enterprises. IOM’s intervention strategy will put women at the centre of the project’s focus as primary beneficiaries and thus managers of water supplies.

“While the environment has always had an impact on people’s mobility and locations where populations concentrate, we are only now beginning to better understand the complex relationship that exists between the environment, climate change, and migration. As a pioneer of kahriz rehabilitation in Azerbaijan, we are thrilled to be able to continue our work in this field and to benefit thousands of rural families across Azerbaijan,” said Serhan Aktoprak, IOM Azerbaijan Chief of Mission.

“People should be the centre of our development work. Economic and social progress should be achieved for the prosperity of humanity. Peace should be in place and sustained in pursuing this prosperity,” added Kumok Park, Country Director of KOICA Azerbaijan. “The Kahriz project is perfectly in line with the KOICA’s 3P (People, Prosperity and Peace) philosophies and I am pleased that KOICA could support this project, working together with IOM.”

This project will also contribute to Azerbaijan’s efforts to follow through on the principles of the upcoming Global Compact on Migration (GCM) and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through:

  • Provision of water for domestic and agricultural needs which has a direct impact on poverty reduction and food security – SDG 1.
  • Empowering and involving women the process, increasing their role in the community leadership – SDG 5.
  • Rehabilitation of eco-friendly and sustainable water supply systems, kahrizes and enhanced access to safe drinking water – SDG 6.

For more information please contact Hwahyun Kim at IOM Azerbaijan, Tel: +994 (0)12 465 9071 (Ext. 28), Email: