USAID supports citizen engagement in improving infrastructure in Balakan, Gakh and Zagatala

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director in Azerbaijan Dr. Jaidev Singh joined citizens of Balakan, Gakh and Zagatala to inaugurate projects supporting their communities funded by USAID. Citizens in these communities contributed significant time and money to improve community infrastructure by improving non-potable water supply and building a safe playground for children. These projects were deliveredthrough USAIDs Socio-Economic Development Activity (SEDA) implemented by the East-West Management Institute with support from the Ministry of Economy.

In Balakan’s Godoshbina and Gakhs Jalayir villages, newly constructed water lines and water tanks will improve access to water for 230 families with a total of 1120 people. Community members will now save valuable time and money previously spent on carrying and buying water, and will be able to focus on improving their living standards and economic opportunities.

In Zagatalas Danachi village, a newly constructed playground for children will provide entertainment for children from 1,500 young families. Before the construction of this playground, they were required to drive 30 km to the rayon’s center to visit an entertainment facility for their children. Along with social and economic benefits, the project will also contribute to engaging local children in healthier and happier outdoor activities.

These projects are part of a collaboration between USAID, the Azerbaijani government, and local communities to support citizen-led efforts to improve rural livelihoods. Since 2011, SEDA communities have implemented 193 projects including activities supporting local economies, medical facilities, rural roads, water and irrigation systems, and renovations of local schools— benefiting nearly 373,000 people in 154 towns and villages