By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan has expanded its social programs to record levels in 2020 despite the limitations of the pandemic, Minister of Labor and Social Protection of Population Sahil Babayev has announced.
Addressing the online meeting with participants of the Young Leaders program, Babayev has said that this year’s social package covers about 5 million people where only 4.2 million citizens were covered under the last year’s package.
He also noted the significant doubling of social payments in a number of areas and social support measures.
Babayev stated that the country’s main policy is to ensure the welfare of citizens, mentioning the achievements of the strategy of socio-economic development.
Moreover, he stressed that in the first seven months of the year, AZN 3.3 billion ($1.9bn) were paid to 2.5 million people in the form of pensions, allowances and targeted social assistance. There is an increase in social payments by 26.7 percent or AZN 707 million ($415.8M), compared to the same period last year.
Furthermore, another social support during the pandemic, including lump sum payment program in the amount of AZN 333 million ($195.8M), were paid to the unemployed and low income people working informally during the special quarantine regime introduced in the country.
Additionally, minister noted the reforms on the labor market, active measures of employment, comprehensive work to prevent informal employment and its positive results, growth of the wage funds, steps taken to restore and expand social services, as well as vocational training centers infrastructure.
Earlier it was reported that Azerbaijan paid a lump-sum payment, in the amount of AZN 190 ($111.7), for unemployed people for August. The lump-sum payments cover 278,000 unemployed and low-income people registered in Baku, Jalilabad, Ganja, Masalli, Mingachevir, Sumgayit, Yevlakh and Absheron, Barda, Goranboy, Goygol, Khachmaz and Salyan regions where the quarantine regime is imposed. Some AZN 53 million ($31.1m) have been allocated for this purpose. In addition, some 600,000 Azerbaijani citizens received benefits in the amount of AZN 190 ($111.7) over COVID-19 in the period between April and May.
Likewise, a record number of over 1,500 apartments and private houses, as well as 400 cars will be handed over to martyrs’ families and disabled war veterans in 2020. In addition, the program of social services for elderly people over 65 years old covers 15,000 people.
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