UNDP, UNFPA sign programme to improve livelihoods of women, people with disabilities and war veterans

BAKU, 12 February, 2019 – A two-year programme set to improve the livelihoods and well-being of up to 3,000 women with disabilities and veterans of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was signed today by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population of Azerbaijan, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). The programme, which was developed at the initiative of the First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, will help the Government produce gender and age-disaggregated data on disability and allow it to design inclusive policies for the employment of war veterans and women and girls living with disabilities. It will also foster positive attitudes and perceptions to eliminate stigma and discrimination towards vulnerable population groups.

Jointly funded by the Government of Azerbaijan, UNDP and UNFPA the Programme is worth around USD 1 million and is expected to provide an accessible and inclusive environment for personal and professional growth of up to 3,000 vulnerable people, including those who lived through traumatic experiences of war.

The programme is expected to be a life-changing experience for a country in which more than 6% of the population are people with disabilities and over 50,000 persons were left with war-related injuries, multiple forms of physical disabilities and mental problems as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. A new state-of the art Virtual Skills Development and Training Lab (V-Lab) will be launched for women with disabilities and war veterans offering them access to knowledge, information and employment opportunities through the use of modern ICT.  A model art school will also be established in Baku to promote social inclusion and offer a wide range of innovation start-up and business development platforms to women and girls with and without disability as well as to veterans of war.

Awareness-raising and grassroots advocacy campaigns will be organised throughout the country to eliminate stigma towards persons with disabilities. This will also include sensitising the country’s top decision-makers, members of parliament, business executives, who are also potential employers, and the broader public on the importance of creating disability-friendly premises, attitudes and policies.

To address existing gaps in empirical data, conceptually new methodological guidelines will be developed to guide the integration of age and gender-disaggregated disability data in national monitoring and reporting schemes. The project will also improve the capacity-building of government institutions to ensure that such data can later be produced independently.

The programme will be implemented in the cities of Baku, Salyan and Masalli in close partnership with the State Committee for Family, Women and Children’s Affairs and the State Statistics Committee. It will entail close collaboration with local authorities, the public and private employers, media, grassroots communities and not-for-profit organisations.

The new collaborative framework is in line with the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and will address a number of Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 8, which aims to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for persons with disabilities. Echoing Goal 10, it will aim to reduce existing inequalities by promoting the social, economic and political inclusion of all, including persons with disabilities. The new programme will also contribute to Goal 17, by highlighting capacity-building support to countries to increase the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by disability.

Media contact:

  1. Arzu Jafarli, Communications and External Relations Analyst for UNDP in Azerbaijan – arzu.jafarli@undp.org
  2. Farhad Hajiyev, Communications Officer for UNFP in Azerbaijan –hajiyev@unfpa.org
  3. Fazil Talibov, Head of the Public Relations and Communications Department at the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population – fazil.talibov@mlspp.gov.az

Another step towards inclusive quality education for children with disabilities: more teachers in Azerbaijan to be trained

BAKU, 1 February 2019 – UNICEF in partnership with the Ministry of Education will organise a training in Baku on 4-8 February 2019 for 28 teachers from five pedagogical universities, including Azerbaijan State Pedagogical University in Baku, Guba and Sheki, Ganja State University and Sumgait State University. A group of 50 in-service teacher trainers from general education schools will also be trained on 11-15 February 2019.

Both trainings for trainers will be conducted by the international experts within the project on Expanding Quality Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities in Azerbaijan implemented by UNICEF in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and funded by the European Union.

“Inclusion of children with disabilities in quality education will not only have a major impact on their potential for learning and development, but will also challenge the misconception that children with disabilities cannot play an active part in the life of their communities,” said UNICEF Representative to Azerbaijan, Mr. Edward Carwardine. “These trainings will focus on building the skills of teachers to deliver high quality inclusive education in mainstream classrooms and is part of the process that we hope will transform education for every child.”

The university and school teachers who participated in the training will in their turn, train 300 university teachers, over 1,300 students of 5 pedagogical universities and over 10,000 primary school teachers in Baku, Ganja, Sumgayit, Guba, Sheki, Agjabedi and Gazakh during 2019-2020.

At the next stage, the new training programmes on Inclusive Education will be integrated into the curriculum of the national teacher training institutes. The project will enable national capacity development and create a new generation of teachers able to deliver inclusive education at regular schools of Azerbaijan.


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information, please contact:

Ayna Mollazade, Communication and Partnership Specialist, amollazade@unicef.org, tel: +994 12 4923013 (ext.109)

WHO and Azerbaijan Ministry of Health hold a press conference on swine flu news

BAKU, 1 February 2019 – Dr Hande Harmanci, representative of World Health Organization (WHO) in Azerbaijan and Chief Epidemiologist of Azerbaijan Ibadulla Agayev, held a press conference to clarify media reports on the spread of swine flu virus in the country.

WHO representative stated that influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 was a virus causing seasonal flu in the last 10 years. “As every year, this is a seasonal flu, not a swine flu,” said Dr Harmanci.

It should be noted that WHO has a global surveillance system for influenza viruses (GISRS) in all member states, including in Azerbaijan. Laboratories operating in in these countries provide entries on viruses. Currently, influenza registered in some countries is considered as a typical seasonal flu in a low and moderate intensity.

Vaccination is considered the best protection against influenza among high-risk groups. This group includes up to five-years-old children, persons over 65 years, pregnant women, people with chronic illnesses and healthcare workers.

To avoid flu, and to prevent the spread of flu, it is recommended to wash hands with soap regularly, to cover mouth and nasals while coughing or sneezing, as well as not to touch eye, nose or mouth, and to isolate when not feeling well at first stage of flu and not to be in close contact with sick people.

Effective system of Robson classification for reducing caesarean section rates in focus of WHO-supported event

BAKU, 25 January 2019 – The Republican Perinatal Centre and World Health Organization (WHO) co-organized a seminar-conference on “Robson classification” for 120 obstetrician-gynecologists across the country, as well as local and international partners from different institutions.

The event aims to introduce the Robson classification, a tool to compare and monitor caesarean section rates that has increased both in the world and in Azerbaijan in recent years. The participants will also learn about its further implementation in healthcare facilities.

In 2015, WHO proposed the use of the Robson classification as a global standard for assessing, monitoring and comparing caesarean section rates both within healthcare facilities and among them. 

WHO considers that the implementation of Robson classification will help to identify and analyse the groups of women which contribute to overall CS rates and assess the quality of care by analysing outcomes by groups of women. It will also contribute to raise staff awareness about the importance of this data, interpretation and use.

Caesarean section is one of the most common surgeries in the world, with rates continuing to rise, particularly in high- and middle-income countries. Although it can save lives, caesarean section is often performed without medical need, putting women and their babies at-risk of short- and long-term health problems. The WHO underscores the importance of focusing on the needs of the patient, and recommends this procedure only when there is a medical necessity.


World Health Organisation hosts a roundtable discussion to assess the status of child violence in Azerbaijan

BAKU, 23 January 2019 – World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with the government of Azerbaijan has organised today a roundtable discussion on the status and prevention of injury and violence against children.

The event brought together representatives of the Ministries of Internal Affairs, Health, Justice, Education, Labour and Social Protection of Population, as well as the State Committee for Family, Women and Children, the State Statistical Committee and representatives of UN agencies.

According to WHO’s report, up to 1 billion children aged 2-17 years, have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence or neglect in the past year. Experiencing violence in childhood impacts lifelong health and well-being.

Azerbaijan’s Children’s Hotline reports that they received a total of 3581 appeals on violence against children in 2018.

Azerbaijan signed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that has a global target to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against, and torture of, children (Target 16.2).

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General

The Secretary-General welcomes the meeting between the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov and the Acting Foreign Minister of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan held on 16 January in Paris under the auspices of the Co-Chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group.

The Secretary-General appreciates the continued commitment of the sides to finding a negotiated and peaceful solution to the long-standing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and particularly welcomed the Ministers’ agreement on the need to take concrete measures to prepare the populations for peace.

The Secretary-General reiterates the full support of the United Nations for the important mediation efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group.

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