By Leman Mammadova
Azerbaijan actively carries out self-employment projects in a bid to grant citizens access to the formal labor market and to give impetus to the development of small business in the country.
As many as 5,561 citizens have been attracted to the self-employment program in Azerbaijan since early 2019.
In particular, 1,345 women, 1,346 - disabled people, 1,07 - internally displaced persons, 348 - people receiving targeted social benefits, have been involved in the program.
In total, 4,124 individuals involved in the program have already successfully completed training programs provided to them.
Last year, 6,000 citizens were attracted to to the program. Some 42 million manats ($25 million) were provided for financing the self-employment program this year (35 million manats ($21 million). It will cover 8,000-10,000 families in 2019, up to 15,000 families in 2020.
More than 1,000 disabled people already created their family farms in 2018 thanks to a joint project of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population and UN development program titled “Creating Inclusive and Decent Jobs for Socially Vulnerable Groups”.
The budget of the Unemployment Insurance Fund for 2019 on the implementation of measures under the self-employment program provides for the allocation of over 56 million manats ($32.95 million).
In addition, the negotiations in this direction with the World Bank (WB) are at the final stage. Azerbaijani government in September sent an official request to the WB to obtain a loan of $100 million for the implementation of the employment support project. WB Board of Directors may approve a loan for this project in March 2020.
The self-employment program has been implemented in Azerbaijan since 2016. As part of these measures, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population provides low-income families with various assets (goods, materials, livestock) so that they can start their small business.
Self-employment is the inclusion of unemployed people in the social structure of society by giving them the opportunity to work on special conditions - conditions of self-organization. At the same time, it is a mechanism of social interaction between society and a person.
It is primarily focused on the unemployed, people with disabilities and young people who are looking for an opportunity to apply their forces in business.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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