The Success of Humanitarian Aid to Azerbaijan


SEATTLE — Azerbaijan is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia, sharing borders with Georgia, Armenia and Iran, that is home to over 600,000 displaced people and nearly 25,000 refugees. To help with this issue, many organizations have provided humanitarian aid to improve the quality of life of refugees and displaced persons and to help decrease the overall number of refugees.

These organizations have been the most successful and beneficial to the Azerbaijani population, with each of them focusing on a different avenue of humanitarian aid to Azerbaijan.


CARE has been working in the Caucasus region since 1993, supporting society and reducing poverty across borders while also increasing women’s roles in peacebuilding. This organization’s humanitarian aid to Azerbaijan addresses the underlying causes of poverty with its knowledge of business development, agricultural growth and infrastructure rehabilitation.

It was also the first aid agency to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Georgia, a neighboring country in the Caucasus region, in August 2008. One of its most successful projects revolved around the Georgian crisis, when the organization provided life-saving support, including shelter, food, animal feed and firewood, to displaced refugees in Azerbaijan.

Relief International

Relief International works to reduce human suffering by responding to natural disasters, humanitarian emergencies and chronic poverty. It provides humanitarian aid to Azerbaijan with its signature “RI Way,” which focuses on the following areas:

  • Emphasizing local participation
  • Integrating their services
  • Forming strategic partnerships
  • Improving civil skills

Its most successful programs involve shelter and community development. The shelter development program helps war-affected families by providing them with a new home and access to health, education, micro-credit and community development. This program is meant to ease the psychological and sociological problems that arise from a cycle of dependency. So far, the families in the program become self-sufficient in a shorter amount of time and are less likely to depend on humanitarian aid in the future.

The community development program works to improve the quality of life for refugees by building model community centers that can be used as clinics, schools, enrichment centers and other civic functions. Since the creation of these community centers, Relief International has noticed an increase in group participation and initiative.

U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR)

UNHCR helps to provide safe refuge to those who have fled persecution, war, disaster or violence. It focuses on providing humanitarian aid to Azerbaijan in the following ways:

  • Protecting the most vulnerable
  • Providing shelter to those who do not have it
  • Advocating for the displaced
  • Providing access to life-saving healthcare
  • Safeguarding individuals
  • Drafting a Global Needs Assessment during crisis

One in seven Azeri is displaced from their home and community, forcing them to abandon ethical values to survive. UNHCR works to solve this problem specifically by creating economic opportunities. So far, it has distributed four million kilos of vegetable seeds and 11,000 sets of gardening tools, which has allowed refugees to make a living for themselves and has enhanced their feelings of self-worth.

Because of the immense success of these organizations and others like them, Azerbaijan has been able to provide aid to refugees in other countries such as Somalia, Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen.

– Chylene Babb

Photo: Flickr


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