By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Azerbaijan has a positive experience of cooperation with the World Bank in the field of labor and social protection, and this experience creates a significant foundation for the successful continuation of cooperation.
This was stated by Minister of Labor and Social Protection Sahil Babayev during a meeting with the World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus, Mercy Tembon, who is on a visit to Azerbaijan, according to the Ministry.
Babayev noted that the work is being carried out in Azerbaijan to create new centers "DOST" (sustainable and operational social security), envisaging a completely transparent provision of state social services via a single center on the principle of a "single window". The minister stressed that the social protection of people who need special social protection is constantly increasing. Babayev also said that based on the documents signed by the head of state this year, the next important steps have been taken in this direction.
Babayev spoke about the significance of the projects implemented jointly with the World Bank. The minister noted the importance of active technical support from the World Bank in preparing a new employment strategy, jointly with the International Finance Corporation, in developing modern methodologies and procedures to raise the capacity of the State Labor Inspectorate Service and conduct risk-based inspections.
Then, Tembon noted that the steps taken in Azerbaijan to improve the well-being of people who need special social protection, deserve a positive assessment. The World Bank Regional Director said that the World Bank highly appreciates the fundamental reforms being carried out in Azerbaijan in the social sphere. Tembon also noted that the ongoing reforms in the country in the field of labor, employment, social protection are important, and expressed confidence that the joint work with the World Bank to implement these reforms will continue successfully in the future.
The meeting discussed reforms in the field of labor, employment and social protection, measures of active employment policy, the study of progressive international experience in this area and other issues.
Over the past 25 years, the World Bank has supported Azerbaijan in implementing critical structural reforms to help stabilize the economy after a long-lasting contraction. The Bank’s strategic advice has helped bring about institutional reforms, develop a public investment program, negotiate a production sharing agreement with foreign oil companies, and establish an Oil Fund which now accumulates part of its revenues from oil and gas exports. Pension reforms and a targeted social assistance program, which the World Bank helped to design and implement, have been instrumental in the remarkable levels of poverty reduction in Azerbaijan.
Today, the World Bank program in Azerbaijan supports the country’s economic diversification agenda, as well as the delivery of quality, accessible and effective public services in order to benefit all Azeri citizens.
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