Cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the World Food Program (WFP)
The office of WFP in Azerbaijan was established in 1993. All projects implemented by WFP in Azerbaijan were the projects aimed at providing assistance to the refugees and internally displaced persons. The program started to implement projects in our country in 1994. During the period of 1994-2008, nearly 120 million US dollars was assisted by WFP in order to provide food assistance to the refugees and internally displaced persons in Azerbaijan. The total number of those who benefited from that was equal to 200 thousand people approximately.
During the period of 1993-1999, in the framework of the “Crisis situation program” of WFP 5 projects and the period of 1999-2008, in the framework of the “Prolonged assistance and reconstruction activities program” of WFP about 3 projects were implemented. The above-mentioned projects were realized in the main 11 areas where the refugees and internally displaced persons were settled (Imishli, Saatli, Ali-Bayramli, Kurdamir, Beylagan, Aghjabadi, Mingachaur, Yevlakh, Sheki, Barda and Tartar). Since 2000, the WFP has changed the form of its activities: from the food assistance to the reconstruction operations.
In the framework of the official visit of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to Italy on the 25th February 2005, he had a meeting with the Deputy Executive Director of WFP John Powell. On 8-15 May 2005, the joint mission of WFP/UNDP/UNICEF visited Azerbaijan. During the visit, they had meetings with the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, relevant state bodies and the NGOs, made visits to the regions. On 25-28 July 2006, the Executive Director of WFP James Morris paid a visit to Azerbaijan. During the visit, he met with the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Hasanov and visited Sabirabad, Imishli and Bilasuvar regions.
After the transit period, achieving economic growth and reducing poverty during the last years in Azerbaijan created good opportunities for resolving the problems of the refugees and internally displaced persons and increasing food security in the country. These factors enabled Azerbaijan to be transformed from the country getting assistance from the international community to the newly emerging donor state. In this regard, the projects of WFP in Azerbaijan have been suspended since 2009. In March of 2013, the office of WFP in Baku was closed.
In January of 2014, through the Azerbaijan International Development Agency of MFA, the Government of Azerbaijan assisted 200 thousand US dollars to the population suffering from the flood disaster in Philippines in support of emergency humanitarian assistance programs. This aid is considered the first assistance by Azerbaijan provided outside the country in the framework of WFP. In connection with this, Azerbaijan entered the list of donors of WFP.