The EU delegation in Azerbaijan allocates a disbursement for rural development

The objective is to promote sustainable agricultural and rural development by ensuring food security, food safety and phytosanitary controls

Baku. 28 June. REPORT.AZ/ The Delegation of the European Union in Azerbaijan has allocated a disbursement of 7.2 million EUR to the Government of Azerbaijan in the framework of the Rural Development Support Programme (RDSP), which supports regional and rural development of Azerbaijan. The specific objectives of the program are i) a rapid development of the labour and entrepreneurship potential in the rural areas able to meet demand of rural businesses to accelerate their integration in the economy and ii) Ministry of Economy coordinating regional development policy effectively and efficiently, Report was told in the press service of EU Delegation in Azerbaijan.

The RDSP commenced in 2012 and works with key partners such as the Ministry of Economy, the Azerbaijan National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support, the Baku Business Training Centre and other stakeholders to achieve the following results:

- Improved business climate and expanded opportunities in the rural areas for potential entrepreneurs including the establishment of incubators

- Improved access to small loans in rural regions (including for IDPs) from credit institutions with effective lending guidelines, and well trained staff in these credit institutions

- Improved development policies, strategies and programmes via improved capacity of coordination by the MoEI and use of appropriate indicators and statistics

The overall budget of the RDSP is Euro 19 million. In addition, Euro 500,000 is allocated for technical assistance for complement the activities.

On the occasion of the budget support disbursement, Ms. Malena Mard, EU Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan said: "Nearly 46% of the population of Azerbaijan lives in rural areas and small towns. Many of these areas have challenges as to access to income-earning opportunities and in developing their businesses. Through this and other projects the EU continues to support Azerbaijan in different sectors aiming to improve the quality of life in rural communities, reduce inequalities in development between regions and encourage the diversification of the economy"

RDSP is an important example of the EU cooperation instrument of budget support, whereby the EU makes a financial contribution to the costs of implementing key activities in a sector considered to be a common priority for the European Union and its partner, the Republic of Azerbaijan.

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