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World Bank approves three operations for ARP

Jun '08
The Executive Directors of the World Bank approved three projects under the Absheron Rehabilitation Program (ARP) that aim to improve the environmental situation in Absheron Peninsula, home to many in the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Total World Bank financing of these three operations will be $164 million. These projects will help to rehabilitate the land polluted by the legacy of onshore oil production in Absheron, clean and safely dispose radioactive waste from defunct iodine enterprises, and improve management of solid waste in the Baku metropolitan area.

"These three projects are a part of a historical effort Azerbaijan is undertaking to improve the ecological situation of the Absheron Pennisula, and particularly to bring ecological conditions in Baku to European standards. The World Bank is very honored to participate in this effort,” says Gregory Jedrzejczak, Country Manager for Azerbaijan.

Most of Azerbaijan's industrial potential is concentrated in the Absheron Peninsula, which also is one of the oldest oil producing regions in the world. Decades of industrial operations without proper care for the environment have left about 30,000 hectares of land in the peninsula polluted by oil products and various industrial waste.

Moreover, the weak solid waste management system is unable to collect and dispose of any more than 60 percent of solid waste produced in the area. These factors pose serious health risks, and limit expansion of two major cities situated in the peninsula – Baku and Sumgayit, as they are ringed by the polluted zones.

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