By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Dickerson has visited Azerbaijan’s southern Lerik and Salyan districts to familiarize himself with USAID-funded projects and to visit American Corner.
On October 2, Dickerson visited Lerik’s Jangamiran village to inaugurate a medical facility that has been reconstructed with the support of USAID’s Socio-Economic Development Activity (SEDA). The medical facility will provide primary health care to more than 3,600 people in the community and neighboring village.
The new medical facility includes two rooms for medical workers, an examination room and a waiting room.
On the same day, the US official visited Lerik’s Piran village where USAID’s SEDA is helping to build a honey processing plant. The plant will improve the storage and packaging of local honey destined for markets and provide assistance to nearly 700 beekeepers from Piran and 40 neighboring communities.
USAID's socio-economic development activities are carried out by the East-West Management Institute in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy. Since 2011, SEDA communities have implemented 160 projects that improve rural livelihoods, including small food processing plants, animal feed mills, medical clinics, rural roads, water and irrigation systems, as well as repair of local kindergartens and schools.
Dickerson also visited the American Corner in Salyan region on October 3. He met local students who regularly visit the Corner to practice their English and learn about educational opportunities in the U.S.
The US Embassy has established American Corners across Azerbaijan as centers where young people can learn about U.S. culture, attend training on the English language and entrepreneurship.
With the support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijan University of Language, the Corners are located in Baku, Salyan, Kurdemir, Ganja and Khachmaz. Over 60,000 users visit American corners each academic year.
More than 5,000 people visited the Salyan American Corner, located in the Salyan Central City Library in 2018.
USAID contributes to the social and economic development of Azerbaijan through activities that further develop the agricultural sector and strengthen citizens' participation in rural communities.
USAID assistance focuses on activities that directly benefit the lives of the Azerbaijani people, create economic opportunities, and expand partnerships to enhance civil society at the grassroots level.
Since 1991, USAID has provided more than $377 million in assistance to help with humanitarian relief and the health sector, as well as economic and democratic reforms.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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