By Rasana Gasimova
In 2019, The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) spent 74.9 million manats ($44.1 million) to finance its only project aimed at improving social and living conditions of internally displaced persons expelled from Armenian-occupied territories and refugees, Trend reported.
The total amount expected to be spent on refugees and IDPs by the end of 2019 is 200 million manats ($117.6 million).
SOFAZ's first expenses were directed at financing this project and since 2001, $2,595.5 million have been spent on refugees and IDPs.
Namely, the allocated funds have been used to equip 71 villages with all necessary amenities - residential buildings, schools, kindergartens, hospitals, cultural centers, electric substations, communication centers, gas and water pipelines – in various regions of the country.
Moreover, poverty rate among IDPs and refuges decreased from 75 percent in 2003 to 12 percent and is still in decline.
The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan established in 1999 with the assets of $271 million aimed at efficient accumulation of resources. Based on SOFAZ's regulations, its funds may be used for the construction and reconstruction of strategically important infrastructure facilities, as well as solving important national problems.
The revenues of the State Oil Fund are formed primarily from revenues from the sale of oil, which remains at the disposal of Azerbaijan in accordance with production-sharing agreements.
Budget revenues of SOFAZ reached 17.6 billion manats ($10.36 billion) in 2018, which is a 31.1 percent increase compared to 2017.
Revenue of 17.3 billion manats ($10.18 billion) was received from implementation of oil and gas agreements, including 16.6 billion manats ($9.77 billion) from the sale of oil and gas, 765.2 million manats ($450.25 million) as bonus payments, 4.1 million manats ($2.41 million) as acreage fee and 18.1 million manats ($10.65 million) as transit payments.
As per SOFAZ’s 2018 budget, 10.9 billion manats ($6.41 billion) were transferred to the state budget.The expenditures in the amount of 200 million manats ($117.7 million) were directed to financing the improvement of social-economic condition of refugees and internally displaced persons, 90 million manats ($53 million) were used for financing the reconstruction of the Samur-Absheron irrigation system.
In addition, 176.1 million manats ($103.62 million) were directed to financing Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway construction and 7.2 million manats ($4.24 million) were directed to financing "The state program on the education of Azerbaijani youth abroad in the years 2007-2015".
It should be also noted that SOFAZ plans to make investments in various types of real estate in a number of developed countries in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific region. Its investments priorities depend on tendencies in the world economy, which are studied before approving the Investment Policy.
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