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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.
 “We are confident that our partnership with StatoilHydro will contribute to reducing child mortality and developing mother-friendly and baby-friendly environment in the health system, as well as to encourage other corporations to engage in the cause for children’s rights,” she said.
 
“We believe that our cooperation with UNICEF and the Ministry of Health in this initiative will contribute to the care of newborn in Azerbaijan. New practices and tools will certainly make life better for mothers and children who will benefit directly from the activities at four selected maternities. It is also our hope that this initiative will have a positive impact on the health of many families and communities in the long term. We are thankful to UNICEF for inviting us to participate in this program and we are happy to initially support it for two years,” said Kristian
B.Hausken, StatoilHydro Country Manager in Azerbaijan.

“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)

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About UNICEF
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
About StatoilHydro
Norway’s StatoilHydro is an integrated oil and gas company with more than 29,500 employees and with business operations in 40 countries worldwide. StatoilHydro is the biggest operator on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, and a leading gas supplier to Europe. StatoilHydro is the world's third largest net sellers of crude oil. Statoil is also a leading Scandinavian retailer of petrol and other oil products. For the third year running, StatoilHydro is listed as one of the absolute best European companies by Business Week magazine. And this year StatoilHydro is ranked as number five in the top 50. Statoil was among the first foreign companies to establish operations in Azerbaijan in 1992. Today, Azerbaijan is one of StatoilHydro's international core business areas, and the company is one of the largest investors in the country.

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.


For further information please contact:

Ayna Mollazade, Communication Officer
UNICEF Azerbaijan
Tel:  99412 492 3013
Email: amollazade@unicef.org

Sheyda Mehdiyeva, CSR Adviser, Government and Public Affairs  
StatoilHydro Azerbaijan  
Telephone:994 12 497 73 48  
E-mail: mds@statoilhydro.com

 

 
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