Azerbaijan International

Winter 1998 (6.4)
Page 89

Unocal's Community Involvement

UNOCAL in AzerbaijanIn 1997, Unocal designated US $1 million in humanitarian aid to various United Nations and international non-government organizations (NGOs) to improve medical care and refugee housing in Azerbaijan. Most of the projects have now been completed.

The largest portion of the donation, $430,000, was used to rehabilitate 109 single-family homes in the Fizuli District through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC). This region had been destroyed by the war.

Unocal has invested $1 since late 1997 to help rehabilitate Azerbaijan's refugees as nearly 1 million of them have been displaced from their homes. Much of the funding has gone for housing.

In conjunction with the Azerbaijan Ministry of Health, Unocal spent $200,000 to refurbish part of the Baku Central Tuberculosis Clinic, completely renovating the therapy department, repairing the heating system in the laboratory and children's department, and painting the exterior of the building. New furnishings for the surgical, intensive care and dispensary departments were also provided, which included beds, bedside tables and chairs as well as furniture for the doctors' and nurses' rooms.

With help from Azerbaijan's Ministry of Health and UNICEF, Unocal selected the southern Jalilabad district for a primary health care (PHC) reform program with $260,000. This program provided essential drugs, basic medical equipment and supplies, office equipment, printing materials and an off-road vehicle.

In addition, training in health and financial management was provided for 48 staff members of the district health facilities. Training also covered proper drug administration, immunization, children's diseases and breastfeeding. In the Masalli district, where UNICEF established a pilot of the PHC Program, Unocal's funds enabled UNICEF to build an office in January 1998 from which health officers manage their programs throughout the southern districts.
Unocal also supported the construction and development of five community centers at refugee settlements that were built by Relief International ($80,000). Each community center, consisting of two or three rooms, is designed to serve as a cultural center, clinic, school or day-care center. In addition, a revolving loan program was established for these centers to use for community empowerment and development programs.

Unocal also gave a grant to Belgium-based Medecins sans Frontiers (Doctors without Borders) with $10,000 to provide hygiene instruction to refugee children to prevent further spread of scabies and other diseases. This program utilized two Belgium clowns experienced in health education, who conducted 28 shows for more than 9,000 children.

Azerbaijan International (6.4) Winter 1998.
© Azerbaijan International 1998. All rights reserved.

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