Friday, May 4, 2007

International Eurasia Press Fund, A Success Story

The Project Working Staff

Establishing and functioning of Mine Victims Association in Tartar, District of Azerbaijan


The IEPF established in 1992. Collaborates within various projects with UNDP, UNHCR, the US State Department, the European Commission, NATO, the International Press Institute, Journalists without Borders, IFEX, International Institute of News Safety, the International Peace Bureau, Embassies of USA, Japan and Italy, and with other embassies located in Azerbaijan, European Commission on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) and with local and international NGOs functioning in the regions.

The IEPF is the member of the International Press Institute, the International Peace Bureau, ECRE, Public-Private Partnership Program U.S. Department of State Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA), member of UN Economical and Social Council with special Consultative Status and one of the founders of the Azerbaijan Journalists Confederation, the Azerbaijan Press Council and the Forum of the Azerbaijan Non-Governmental Organizations.

Key Areas of Activity:
Media and Civil Society Development; Peacemaking Actions and Conflictology; Refugees/IDPs problems ; Community Development, Mine Action and Mine Victims.

International Eurasia Press Fund implements the pilot Project “Establishing and Functioning of Mine Victims Association in Tartar District of Azerbaijan” with financial support from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) since May 2006. The following story talks about the successes being achieved by this Project

The conflict over Nagorny Karabakh from 1988 till 1994 is the principal reason of the mine problem Azerbaijan. The mined areas around some of the military units are however, the heritages of former Soviet Union. As a result of mine/UXO accidents, about 2500 people were killed and became disabled in Azerbaijan. About 642 communities and more than billion square meters of territories were contaminated by mine and UXO. About more than 520.000 disabled suffer from mine/UXO casualties.

With the objective to participate in the elimination of mine/UXO problems in Azerbaijan, IEPF joined the Mine Action Program being implemented by the Azerbaijan Government and UNDP in 2000. It began with launching the Project “Landmine Level One Survey”. The IEPF began more active in mine action programme since the implementation of this “Landmine Level One Survey” in accordance with the contract and financed by UNDP and institutionally led by ANAMA.
In 2002-2003/2004, the IEPF implemented the Projects” Landmine Impact Survey” and “Mine Victims Needs Assessment” with financial supports from EC. The Community Mine Action Team, being established within the IEPF in 2002 with financial support from the Embassy of Japan in Azerbaijan and ANAMA, continues its de-mining activity in the region. The necessity to implement the Project “Establishment and Functioning of Mine Victims Association” had resulted from the outcome of the Project “Mine Victims Needs Assessment”.
The results of the survey has determined that about 80% of interviewed 1883 persons were in urgent need of medical care, vocational training, social adaptation, juridical advocacy and so on.

Most of the interviewed mine victims expressed their interests in the establishment of their private farm-unities. To solve their problems on their own initiatives, the IEPF submitted a Project Proposal to U.S. Department of State Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) and the project was subsequently approved and being implemented.

The Project Working Staff and the 10 members of the Initiative Group, selected among the mine victims, were recruited through interview process appropriate trainings. The trainings were conducted in accordance with the training materials prepared by professionals and the experienced staff-persons.

The Local Executive Power, public representatives and the mine victims themselves welcomed this initiative of settling of their problems on their own as it is the objective of the project. Numerous meetings were held with mine victims inhabited in Tartar district and in its suburbs. The participants were widely informed on the aims/objectives of the Project. The mine victims were grouped in accordance with their degree of disability, social state, scope of interest, abilities and principal needs. The number of mine victims who expressed their desire to be engaged in small business is 180. About 80 mine victims wished to participate in mine risk education aspect.

Initially the information on mine victims who were in need of urgent medical care was collected. About 27 mine victims with severe health state in Tartar District were listed and sent for treatment to the Specialized Medical Centre for Disabled within the Medical Rehabilitation Program implemented by the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA).

The survey results of previous 9 months demonstrates that there’s a great need of establishing mine victims’ associations in several regional branches in the country. It is envisaged that it will open doors for mine victims themselves to solve their own problems, reintegrate into the society and take active part in civil society building in Azerbaijan. At present time the Three Year Strategic Plan and the Annual Working Plan of the Azerbaijan Mine Victims Association which will be officially created at the completion of the Project “Establishing and Functioning of Mine Victims Association in Tartar District of Azerbaijan”. The Project Proposals on establishing and functioning of regional branches are under preparation.

Specific information obtained during the Project implementation:

Mine victim’s baby born disabled

Mr. Mararif, an inhabitant of Housanly village of Tartar district behaved carelessly with the detonator of the anti-personal (AP) mine in its own yard, and as a result of the explosion on February, 2001 he lost his three fingers on his left hand. And this accident happened in front of his wife’s eyes - Sevda Aliyeva. The young woman with two months pregnancy since lived with very deep shock. She couldn’t forget this accident for a long time and on September 03, 2001 she gave birth to a boy child named Baxtiyar Aliyev. But the happiness of the family owing to the birth of their baby boy did not last too long. They subsequently discovered that the baby’s four fingers on both hands were invalid. Besides, later the parents came to know that their 5 years old son has defects with his sex organs. Bakhtiyar Aliyev needs surgical operation on his sex organs to overcome the defect.

The mine victim’s house was repaired

Kamil M. Pashayev, an inhabitant of Aghkend village of Tartar District lost his one eye, knee cap on one leg, part of his right jaw bone, had different wounds on various parts of his body during AP mine explosion and he is unable to work. During the visits of the Working Group of the Project t was discovered that Kamil’s house is in a very dilapidated condition and the family subsequently witnessed yet another tragedy. The family lost their child of 1.5 years as the baby inadvertently touched the faulty electric wire.
The participants decided to allocate some amount from the contingency budget line to repair Pashayevs’ house. The house has been already repaired.

I group invalid is a motor mechanic

Mahir Aliyev was born in 1964 in Azad Garagoyunly village of Tartar District. On June 15, 1992 during the farming activity he faced with anti personal mine in Chayly village of Aghdara District. The explosion took his four fingers on his left hand and three fingers on his right hand, he lost his right eye and had wounds on various parts of his body. Despite the physical disabilities, problems with his health and meagre penson money, Mahir does his best to keep his soul and body together. He kept increasing his family budget by being busy with his lovely profession – he repairs the engines of automobiles. All the clients are satisfisfied with his work. He is well-known as a master of his profession.

Member of Initiative Group invented a detector
Address: 1a Mehdi Huseyn, AZ 1006, Baku, Azerbaijan Republic
Tel/fax: (+994 12) 439 76 97, 439 49 15
Е-mail: Zabil Mammadov is a member of the Initiative Group of the Project “Establishing and Functioning of Mine Victims Association in Tartar District of Azerbaijan” and his long-term investigations ended with great success. He invented and tested his model of detector. Is it possible to use his detector in de-mining operations? The problem isn’t to find an answer to this question. The main thing is that Zabil Mammadov who lives the fate of a mine victim is an initiator of the action to support the de-mining operations and his initiative has to be appropriately recognized.

Address: 1a Mehdi Huseyn, AZ 1006, Baku, Azerbaijan Republic
Tel/fax: (+994 12) 439 76 97, 439 49 15

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good Job guys!!!