U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan reaches $1.1 billion

By: Nigar Orujova

The U.S. has allocated $115 million to Azerbaijan for the projects on humanitarian aid and improving the living standards of refugees since 1993.

This was said by Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia of the U.S. Department of State, Alina Romanowski to reporters in Baku.

She noted that the purpose of the U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan is to help the government achieve its goals, diversify the economy and develop the private sector.

The total volume of aid allocated to Azerbaijan since 1992 stood at $1.1 billion, she said.

The U.S. aid to Azerbaijan in the form of goods, clothes and food is estimated at $220 million, according to Romanowski.

She pointed out that the U.S. has allocated $30 million to Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) since 1992.

These funds have enabled to detect and defuse around 500,000 mines and unexploded ordnance, Romanowski noted.

The activities of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the sphere of agriculture in Azerbaijan have led to progress: the pomegranate production has increased by 57 percent, while the output in other spheres has grown by 12 percent, said the representative of the US State Department.

She added that as a result of the assistance to farmers, the export of pomegranate and nut has increased by 55 percent and 68 percent, respectively.

Moreover, Azerbaijan got assistance in the sphere of democratic development and human rights, said the U.S. diplomat, adding that 97 community centers have been created as part of this assistance.

Romanowski pointed out that these centers have implemented 39 projects aimed at building relations between the residents and local executive powers.

Earlier, Michael Lally, Deputy Assistant of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for Europe, who was on visit to Azerbaijan, said the U.S. intends to increase the volume of investments in Azerbaijan.

He noted that the U.S. was one of the largest investors in the Azerbaijan starting from the proclamation of independence of the country.

“Before we invested only in the oil and gas sector, now we are planning to focus on non-oil sectors: logistics, pharmaceuticals, information technology and so on,” said Lally.

Currently, there are 235 American companies in Azerbaijan. Today, the U.S. companies are represented in Azerbaijan in the spheres of construction, industry, services, bank and insurance sectors.

To date, the U.S. invested $10 billion in the economy of Azerbaijan. At present, the two countries are planning to develop business cooperation in non-oil sphere.

Azerbaijan enjoys being America’s largest trade partner in the South Caucasus and has successfully pursued major mutually beneficial trade deals. Trade with Azerbaijan helps to support more than 11,000 jobs throughout the U.S..

Trade turnover between the U.S. and Azerbaijan stood at $1.06 billion in ten months of this year, the State Statistical Committee reports.