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EBRD to finance waste management improvements in Azerbaijan's Ganja

16 May 2022 10:00 (UTC+04:00)
EBRD to finance waste management improvements in Azerbaijan's Ganja

Azerbaijan and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have signed a loan agreement to finance the "solid waste management" project in Ganja on May 12, Azernews reports citing the Finance Ministry.

The document was signed by Azerbaijan's Finance Minister Samir Sharifov, EBRD's First Vice President Jurgen Rigterink, and the Head of Ganja City Executive Power Niyazi Bayramov.

Within the signed agreement, the Bank committed to invest in improving the city’s solid waste collection infrastructure.

The project is part of Ganja’s engagement in the EBRD Green Cities program and will trigger the development of a Green City Action Plan (GCAP).

The €10 million loan will be used to introduce smart waste collection and route optimization systems. New container types, enhancement of the current fleet, and introduction of greener vehicles will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the city’s municipal services.

The agreement will also pave the way for a follow-on project that will complete the solid waste management improvements by way of a new modern regional sanitary landfill. By expanding and enhancing the coverage of waste collection services, uncontrolled waste burning can be kept to a minimum, which will, in turn, protect public health and the general environment. These measures also aim to improve working conditions for the communal services employees.

At the signing ceremony, Samir Sharifov expressed satisfaction with the long-term and strategic cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EBRD. He noted that Bank's support for important projects implemented by the government to achieve the country's economic development goals.

Emphasizing that many important infrastructure projects have been implemented in close cooperation with the EBRD, the minister stressed the importance of the agreement signed as a project to support the communal infrastructure of Ganja.

Reminding that Ganja, the second-largest city in Azerbaijan in terms of territory and population, was severely damaged by Armenian rocket and heavy artillery attacks during the 44-day war, Sharifov said that after the historic victory the government took urgent measures to eliminate the devastation in Ganja. In this regard, he stressed that the EBRD program will be a significant contribution to the renewal of infrastructure in the city, as well as improve the health of the population and the environment.

He also mentioned that the Azerbaijani government is currently implementing major infrastructure projects in liberated Karabakh and East Zangazur, underlining that the main goal is to reintegrate these areas into the country's economy. The minister highlighted that the selection of the EBRD as one of the two main banks to provide financial and credit support offered by the European Union for the reconstruction of the liberated territories of Azerbaijan is not accidental.

In turn, noting satisfaction with the signing of the first Green City project in Azerbaijan, Jurgen Rigterink expressed confidence that the project will make an important contribution to solve the city's environmental problems and allow Ganja to become one of the most sustainable cities in the South Caucasus.

Stressing that the EBRD is interested in cooperating to solve infrastructure problems in other cities of Azerbaijan and help them become more green spaces, he proposed to include new cities in Azerbaijan after Ganja in the Green Cities Program.

Moreover, speaking at the signing ceremony, Niyazi Bayramov, EU Delegation to Azerbaijan head Peter Michalko, and Deputy Economy Minister Sahib Mammadov noted the importance of the project and the EBRD's effective and long-term cooperation with Azerbaijan.

They noted that the first project implemented under the Green Cities program will help ensure a better and more sustainable future for Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan has been a member of the EBRD since September 25, 1992. The main strategic directions of the EBRD's activity in Azerbaijan, are the diversification of the economy, the development of local capital markets and the support of the green economy. To date, the EBRD has invested over €3.5 billion through 181 projects in the country.


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