Mar 16, 2022
EU and UNDP launch new Mayors for Economic Growth Facility in Azerbaijan￼
The new Mayors Facility seeks to address challenges met by cities in the EaP region during the pandemic crisis and pronounced beforehand. Working closely with local authorities and communities, the M4EG Facility will explore innovative approaches to development, and practices to serve as a platform to empower municipalities, cities, towns, and rural settlements through learning, exchanges and strategic innovation.
“Under the Mayors for Economic Growth Program, different cities in Azerbaijan will be supported in the process of designing Local Economic Development Plans. Development of cities means a diversified economy and inclusive growth, higher incomes, less poverty, higher living standards, a healthier society and subsequently fewer disparities between regions and the capital city. There is no doubt that this Program will contribute to the further development of the “strong partnership” between the EU and the Government of Azerbaijan and most importantly the mayors of the cities”, said Peter Michalko, European Union Ambassador to Azerbaijan.
“Cities play an important role in the economy of Europe and Central Asia countries and the pandemic has most recently surfaced their vulnerability, the need for heightened resilience and is likely to have a long-term impact on structural aspects, spatial distribution and organization of cities. These complex challenges require new models and modes of thinking, that rely on understanding the complexity and a continuous process of exploration, and bold goals. Today we embark on a new journey with our strategic partner, the European Union, to support city municipalities of Azerbaijan to develop and implement their plans that will benefit their communities in the years to come”, said UNDP Officer-in-Charge to Azerbaijan, Sukhrob Khojimatov.
Both current and future members of the M4EG will benefit from training and knowledge exchange activities focused on the development of innovative growth strategies that are highly contextualized and built on local ecosystems. The EU and UNDP will support them in developing a new generation of local economic development plans, promoting strategic thinking, and building urban resilience. Local authorities will have access to new capabilities and funding, including the Annual Portfolio Call for Interests and Annual Innovation Call for Proposals.