The partners spent USD 24 million on the Community Investment Programme (CIP) during the construction phase of the two pipelines. In 2007, an additional USD 3.7 million was spent on economic and business education and training projects in the Baku corridor in Azerbaijan, small grants for school villages along the WREP in Georgia and eight sustainable rural development projects in Turkey.
Moving from the construction to the operations phase, the Future Communities Programme (FCP) takes over where the CIP left off and continues to focus on community empowerment and mobilisation, while the Regional Development Initiative (RDI) will introduce more innovative mechanisms for socio-economic development in the region.
The RDI is a long-term commitment by the partners to maximising the development impact of our core business and ensuring that the proceeds from these activities are fairly distributed in the region. The RDI addresses basic development challenges such as enterprise development, effective governance and access to energy. The initiative also has an underlying focus on education, capacity building and vocational training.
To maximise the benefits of the RDI, the partners have established close collaboration with development agencies as well as with the governments and communities involved, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
Together with our partners, we spent USD 12 million on projects in this programme in 2006. In 2007, an additional USD 6.5 million was dedicated to enterprise development and training in Azerbaijan, corporate governance and engineering design projects in Georgia, and technical assistance and capacity-building projects in Turkey.