Azerbaijani president receives chairman of State Committee for Refugee and IDP Affairs (PHOTO)

Azerbaijani president receives chairman of State Committee for Refugee and IDP Affairs (PHOTO)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 18


President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Chairman of the State Committee for Refugee and IDP Affairs Rovshan Rzayev.

President Ilham Aliyev said:

- This year, a great deal of work is also planned to address the problems of internally displaced persons. Part of this work has already been done. Recently, we celebrated the opening of the “Gobu Park-2” residential complex. This complex will accommodate 1,300 refugee families. While attending the opening of the complex, I saw that the highest standards were being applied. Very nice and comfortable apartments, wonderful public spaces, a school, a kindergarten, a grocery store, a health center have been created. In other words, all living conditions are available. It is gratifying that the construction of the “Gobu-1” and “Gobu-2” complexes was carried out exclusively by the private sector. The “Gobu-3” complex currently under construction is also being built by the private sector. Thus, about 4,000 refugee families will be provided with apartments meeting the most modern standards in Gobu settlement.

During the opening, I also addressed entrepreneurs and recommended that they join these activities. And entrepreneurs responded to my call. I believe that the solution of IDP problems should be a nation-wide issue. True, the state has assumed most of the burden. To date, the state has provided for the construction of more than 100 settlements. In general, over 7 billion manats were spent on addressing the problems of IDPs, issuing benefits and building houses. This year, IDP benefits were increased by 50 percent. This shows again that the state always helps people of this category.

Before the end of the year, there are plans to set up new settlements. All the work we planned for at the beginning of the year should be completed before the end of this year. You should already be working on a program for next year – where and how many IDP families we can provide with new houses and apartments next year.

And now can you please report on what has been done and what measures are planned for next year?

Rovshan Rzayev: Thank you very much, dear Mr. President. First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to you for attending the opening of “Gobu Park-2”. This park was opened on 8 September. I can already report that 120 families who used to live in a hostel in Nasimi district now live in new apartments. The process continues. The second round of drawing of lots took place yesterday. The internally displaced persons living in hostels in Narimanov district and the territories shown to you earlier will be resettled in accordance with the list. You have created all the conditions for that. All employees of the committee are busy doing this work.

Based on your instructions, the construction of settlements in several districts will be completed before the end of this year. please allow me to list them – in Shirvan district a settlement for 685 apartments is now ready and finishing work is under way. Thus, all internally displaced persons living in the city of Shirvan will be provided with apartments. We can even accommodate several families from surrounding districts in this settlement. Finishing work is being completed in an 80-apartment building in Goychay. All 80 IDP families living in one of the buildings in disrepair there will be relocated to new apartments. Finishing work is also under way at the large settlement for 565 apartments in Kurdamir built on your instruction. We will be able to commission it probably by the end of October or by mid-November. Thus, all internally displaced persons settled in Kurdamir district will be provided with apartments in this settlement. We can even relocate several families from surrounding districts there.

The construction of three buildings with a total of 130 apartments is under way in Goygol district. In Takhtakorpu settlement of Agjabadi district, where IDPs from Lachin are mainly settled, 645 private houses are being built. Before the end of this year, we will settle 645 families in these houses. In Ujar district, the construction of another settlement for 250 families will be completed before the end of the year. Thus, the number of apartments being built by the committee on your instructions will reach 3,700.

Private sector input is very important. As you noted, “Gobu Park-2” built by the private sector for 1,300 families has already been opened. We have another settlement with 540 apartments being built by the private sector. Before the end of this year, we will provide these apartments to the IDPs. Thus, the figures you mentioned will be fully achieved before the end of the year.

Dear Mr. President, please allow me to bring to your attention the documents the committee has prepared on which settlements will be built in which districts on your instructions next year.

President Ilham Aliyev: But before you do that, I have a question. On my instructions, the construction of new houses in the city of Sumgayit is also envisaged. According to my instructions, a settlement has already been built in Sumgayit. What is being done in this direction?

Rovshan Rzayev: Dear Mr. President, we opened two settlements in the city of Sumgayit in your presence last year. The process of accommodating people in the Sumgayit settlement for 1,001 families has been completed. With your participation, a settlement for 1,005 families was commissioned on the territory of the 12th micro-district of Sumgayit, and IDPs live there. On your instruction, the construction of a settlement for 1,250 IDP families has begun on the territory of the “Sumgayit Station” of Absheron district. Work is under way. The settlement is being built at the expense of the funds you allocated from investment. I think we will be able to commission this settlement within 10 months.

In addition, the State Committee has been allocated a new territory of about 20 hectares in the city of Sumgayit. Work is also under way in this direction. In the coming years, there are plans to begin construction there.

President Ilham Aliyev: At present, hostels in the city of Baku are being vacated. Many of them are in disrepair. What will happen to them? Will they be demolished, repaired? Did you deal with this issue or not?

Rovshan Rzayev: Yes we did. We are trying to resettle internally displaced persons from all hostels. We then transfer the hostels to district executive authorities and the Property Committee.

President Ilham Aliyev: We must also look at their condition. The hostels in disrepair should be demolished and new buildings should be built in their place.

Rovshan Rzayev: Dear Mr. President, I can say that all hostels are indeed in disrepair, and this prevents their restoration. They will probably be demolished and new buildings will be built in their place.

President Ilham Aliyev: Please report on the program for next year.

Rovshan Rzayev: We have developed three options of the program for next year. With your permission, I will report on these options one-by-one. So next year we can build settlements for an additional 1,890 families in Absheron district and for 552 families in Goranboy district. These are the three options. We are bringing them to your attention and will wait for further instructions. We can build a settlement for 1,512 families in the city of Ganja. All these funds have been allocated by you. We can build a settlement for 500 families in Umid village of Garadagh district. In the territory of Shamkir district we can build a new settlement for 375 IDP families. This is the second option. And the third option is as follows: in the territory allocated for internally displaced persons in Binagadi district, we can build a settlement for 800 families, in the city of Ganja for 1,512 families and in the territory of Samukh district for 200 families.

President Ilham Aliyev: If we do this, how many families will be accommodated in total?

Rovshan Rzayev: In this regard, we have prepared three versions of the document. Please allow me to show them to you. The first option envisages the accommodation of a total of 6,989, the second option of 6,934 and the third option of 7,059 families.

President Ilham Aliyev: In my opinion, we should focus on the third option. Next year we must accommodate as many IDPs as possible. Please review this program again, in particular, consider the cities of Baku and Sumgayit because most of the IDPs are located in Baku and Sumgayit. We have now managed to significantly improve the situation in the districts. In 2007, tent camps were removed and more than 100 settlements were built in the districts of Azerbaijan. Therefore, I approve this program as a whole but it is necessary to make additions to it and build more houses. As for the funds required for this, we will find them because it is a priority issue for us.

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