Baku, 29 March 2023 – Today, the Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan, European Union (EU) and World Bank (WB), together with partners and colleagues from the government, development community, civil society, academia and media, met to review the implementation of the Azerbaijan Rapid Technical Assistance Facility (AZTAF). AZTAF is a three-year program with a total budget of Euro 5.25 million funded by the EU and managed by the World Bank. Its objective is to provide advisory and analytical support and capacity building to the Government of Azerbaijan in line with the Azerbaijan 2030 National Priorities, to support enhanced social inclusion and connectivity, spur economic reforms, strengthen public sector governance, and facilitate an effective COVID-19 recovery.
The AZTAF program includes a series of programmatic and on-demand activities that are aligned with the four priority areas of the EU-Azerbaijan Partnership Priorities, namely i) strengthening institutions and good governance; ii) economic development and market opportunities; iii) connectivity, energy efficiency, environment and climate action; iv) mobility and people-to-people contacts.
“The European Union is a committed partner in supporting the socio-economic development of Azerbaijan,” said Ambassador of the European Union to Azerbaijan Peter Michalko. ‘Through this partnership, together with the World Bank and our government counterparts, we are focusing our interventions on strategic areas that are key to equitable, inclusive and lasting growth. Important achievements have been reported today across all these sectors. We will continue to work together in the years to come, sharing European expertise and international best practices and, ultimately contributing to strong partnership between the EU and Azerbaijan.”
AZTAF has nine technical assistance activities that build on the World Bank Group’s ongoing and long-standing engagements in areas such as inclusive growth, public and corporate governance, green environment and sustainable development, human capital development and social inclusion.
“The World Bank Group is currently embarking on developing its new Country Partnership Framework for Azerbaijan, which will be aligned with the country’s strategic goals and priorities and the Azerbaijan 2030 vision. We expect that successful implementation of AZTAF will not only have immediate benefits for the population, but will also help to create a solid analytical foundation and source of innovation for the new projects and initiatives to be included in our program in the country moving forward.”, said Sarah Michael, World Bank Country Manager for Azerbaijan.
This meeting is the first in a series of public events to discuss the progress and impact of the AZTAF program, and to engage with stakeholders and the broader public on details of each activity – and will help to ensure strong synergies and mutual learning with other initiatives in the country.
The European Union is made up of 27 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a period of enlargement of more than 60 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.
With 189 member countries and offices in over 130 locations, the World Bank is a unique global partnership working to reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries. 2022 marked the 30th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s membership in the World Bank. Since 1992, the World Bank has financed over 50 projects in the country, with total commitments of $4.4 billion, spanning many national development priorities, including building human capital, strengthening access to infrastructure, public services and jobs, investing in agricultural competitiveness and rural development, and supporting the livelihoods of internally displaced persons.