UNICEF and StatoilHydro agree to cooperate to reduce infant mortality and improve mother and newborn care in Azerbaijan
BAKU, April 15, 2008 - The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the StatoilHydro Azerbaijan have teamed up to support the Government of Azerbaijan in its efforts to reduce infant mortality and improve mother and newborn care in Azerbaijan.
StatoilHydro, a Norwegian energy company, one of the largest investors in oil business in Azerbaijan, formed an alliance with UNICEF Azerbaijan on a project meant to improve neonatal survival and reduce infant and child mortality in the country.
The core of proposed activities include introduction of the latest international newborn care package in four selected pilot maternities and utilization of new tools for monitoring of reduction of neonatal mortality in these facilities. The pilots will be serve as models of mother and child-friendly environment, partner’s\relatives’ participation at delivery, minimum use of medications, early skin-to-skin contact of newborn and mother, early initiation of exclusive breastfeeding and rooming-in and neonatal resuscitation practices. It is also expected that national evidence-based guidelines and protocols on neonatal care will be developed under this programme. Selected trained staff will disseminate gained experience through trainings nationwide.
“UNICEF works closely with multi-national corporations, national companies and small- to medium-sized businesses all over the world to identify, design and implement alliances that leverage the strengths of the corporate sector on behalf of children. It is our hope that StatoilHydro can become our long-term partner in our efforts to contribute to the improving of the well-being of children in the country,” said UNICEF Representative in Azerbaijan Hanaa Singer.
“Right to survival is one of the fundamental rights of children outlined in UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, which was ratified by Azerbaijani government in 1992. It is also our hope that the activities under this project will contribute to Government’s effort on fulfilling Azerbaijan’s commitment to achieve MDG 4: reduction of child mortality by 2/3 by 2015,” said UNICEF Representative.
Estimates on child mortality in Azerbaijan are complicated by the large discrepancy between official and survey figures. The results of the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) conducted by the Government of Azerbaijan with the support of UNICEF and USAID in 2006, will help to bring clarity to the issue once finalized.
UNICEF Representative Hanaa Singer and StatoilHydro Country Manager Kristian B. Hausken will announce the launch of the new partnership at a press conference in Baku on April 16, 2008 (2 p.m. in the Park Inn hotel)
The company's current interests include Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (8.6 per cent), Shah Deniz (25.5 per cent), and Alov-Araz-Sharg (15.0 per cent). STATOIL is the Operator for the Azerbaijan Gas Supply Company, responsible for gas sales to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. StatoilHydro is also the Commercial Operator of the South Caucasus Pipeline Company where StatoilHydro owns 25.5%. The company holds an 8.71% share in the BTC pipeline for export of Azerbaijani and Caspian oil from Azerbaijan, via Georgia to Turkey.
Ayna Mollazade, Communication Officer
Sheyda Mehdiyeva, CSR Adviser, Government and Public Affairs