The United Nations in Azerbaijan: Working Hand in Hand for A Better Future. (UNDP; 1999).
Text by Rebecca Ponton. 58 pgs.

United Nations Development Program

In the winter of 1993, as Armenian armed forces advanced on the settlement of Horadiz, the unarmed inhabitants tried to escape by crossing the border in Iran through a dike in the Araz River. Weapon in hand, Nazim Alekperov, a resident of Horadiz, led a small band of volunteers in covering the fleeing settlers until they had safely crossed into Iran. For many hours, the group was able to hold back their aggressors whose numbers far exceeded theirs.

Due to their heroic efforts, some 4000 people were able to escape unharmed into Iran. Alekperov and his friends attempted to join them, but, as he covered the others, he was killed in the one-sided battle.

Alekperov's hometown of Horadiz is the site of the United Nations Development Program's pilot reconstruction project. Started in 1996, two years after a cease-fire agreement was signed, the project was begun with US $500,000 in "seed money," which was used to establish and build the capacity of the Azerbaijan Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency (ARRA), the operating and implementing arm of the State Commission for Reconstruction . . .

Copyright 1999 Rebecca Ponton. No part of this text may be reproduced without the express written consent of the author. | copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved