An Azerbaijani, head of the board of the "Ukrainian Fund for Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving" public union Anar Rafiyev did not leave Ukraine after the start of the war, but took an active part in the evacuation of hundreds of families and the collection of humanitarian aid, contributed to the sending home of the remains of Azerbaijani heroes who died for the freedom and independence of Ukraine and also supported the Ukrainian army.
Report presents an exclusive interview with Anar Rafiyev:
- What are your plans to help restore Ukraine's infrastructure? Which regions of the country will this cover and what funding is allocated for this?
- Before the war, we were engaged in thermoregulation and energy saving projects, carried out at the expense of public funds, external loans and grants.
From the first day of Russia's military intervention in Ukraine, as the head of the board of the public union, I decided to stay in Ukraine and reformat the activities of our organization, taking into account the realities of wartime. We have organized the Humanitarian Headquarters of an international team of volunteers, delivering the necessary assistance to cities and towns that have suffered from the actions of Russian troops.
Being experts in construction and energy-saving issues, the Public Union has been directing its efforts toward reconstructing Ukraine for some time now.
For the third month, in partnership with the company ESRI Ukraine LLC (a representative of Esri (US) and the public organization Electronic Ukraine, we are implementing a nationwide portal for fixing the destruction and further development of the geoinformation system Restore Ukraine Together. The public union interacts with communities affected by military operations in the Kyiv region and other areas, fixing the destruction and looking for investments to restore these regions.
To date, the most affected communities - Bucha, Makarov, Irpin, Chernihiv and others - are already actively using the geoinformation portal. Corresponding memorandums and agreements on the unrestricted use of the GIS service have been signed with these communities. Work on entering data on damaged or destroyed objects continues daily: most of these objects have already been entered into the GIS portal database. Ukrainian ministries - the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Regional Development - have also joined the project, and negotiations are underway with other government agencies.
Work is being completed on the public part of the portal, which will allow Ukrainians to monitor the restoration process in the public domain, and actively participate in it, both at the country level and the level of each specific house or social facility.
In addition, the GIS portal is a platform for interaction between Ukrainian and foreign business representatives, investors, and international donors - all those who are ready to invest their efforts, experience and funds in the cause of Ukraine's renewal.
Based on our experience, we strive to build a new, safer, more efficient and improved version of the country, taking into account the best world technologies in the energy and heat savings field.
Our organization has a Research and Development (R&D) division. It was created to study and implement innovative technologies, including energy-saving ones. Our goal is to make the Ukrainian economy as independent as possible from imported resources, primarily from Russia's energy resources.
There is another product of our activities, which we will present in just a couple of weeks, along with the public part of the geoinformation portal. We hope that it will be interesting and useful not only for the Ukrainian public but also for our foreign partners.
- What other Azerbaijani companies are involved in this and other similar projects?
- We have friendly partnership relations with SOCAR Energy Ukraine. Together we are engaged in the restoration of the school named after Zarifa Aliyeva in Irpin, which suffered as a result of the bombing by Russian invaders. At the moment, a technical report on the extent of the damage to the building has been developed, and with the support of the Azerbaijani Embassy, restoration work is underway.
We hope that this year we will be able to resume the functioning of this educational institution.
There are other projects as well.
- Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, you have also helped Azerbaijanis return to their homeland. Approximately how many people have you helped? Is this process ongoing?
- In the first days of active hostilities, I decided to stay in Ukraine. I love this country, this country has become my second home, and I stayed with the Ukrainians. I decided to fulfill my duty by helping Ukrainians, Azerbaijanis and citizens of other countries who ended up in Ukraine so that people would not disappear in the chaos of the war.
Together with the Azerbaijani embassy, we evacuated many Azerbaijanis, as well as citizens of Georgia, to their homeland. We created a distribution center in Kolomyia, where foreign citizens were transported in the first days of the war.
Then our volunteers helped them with further evacuation: communication with embassies and crossing the border.
Unfortunately, there were other sad missions. At the request of the Azerbaijani embassy, our humanitarian headquarters was engaged in escorting the remains of the heroes, citizens of Azerbaijan, who died for the freedom and independence of Ukraine, to their homeland.
Now the flow of evacuation of the population has decreased, and the Humanitarian Headquarters has focused on other pressing tasks.
- Does the delivery of humanitarian aid to Ukraine also continue? What organizations and countries are involved in this?
- To date, the Public Union is a partner of UNICEF. We have delivered about 900 tons of humanitarian aid. Having become partners of the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine and SpaceX, we delivered 50 Starlink terminals to hot spots that lost their connection due to hostilities.