Azerbaijani minister reveals total amount of lump-sum payments amid COVID-19 pandemic (UPDATE)

Economy Materials 7 August 2020 15:04 (UTC +04:00)
Azerbaijani minister reveals total amount of lump-sum payments amid COVID-19 pandemic (UPDATE)

TITLE CHANGED. Details added: first version posted on 11:59

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Aug.7


The order of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev to issue lump-sum payments in the amount of 190 manat ($111.7) in 13 cities and districts of the country with special quarantine regime will be executed as soon as possible, and these payments will be made in the coming days, Azerbaijani Minister of Labor and Social Protection of Population Sahil Babayev said.

Babayev made the remark at a press conference held on August 7, Trend reports.

According to the minister, the payments, for which 53 million manat ($31.1 million) will be allocated, will cover 278 unemployed and informally employed low-income people who have lost their jobs due to the special quarantine regime introduced because of the COVID-19 threat in the cities of Baku, Jalilabad, Ganja, Masalli, Mingachevir, Sumgayit and Yevlakh as well as in Absheron, Barda, Goranboy, Goygol, Khachmaz and Salyan districts.

Thus, during the pandemic, the total amount of funds allocated for the lump sum program will reach 333 million manat ($195.8 million), said the minister.

Babayev noted that the continuity of social payments was ensured and payments were made even earlier than the appointed date.

He added that in the last seven months of this year, more than 2.3 million citizens (23 percent of the population) received pensions, benefits, scholarships and targeted social assistance in the total amount of 3.3 billion manat ($1.94 billion), which is 719 million manat ($422.9 million), which 30 percent more than in the same period of last year,” he said.

The number of people covered by the social security system grew by 130,000-150,000, including nearly 60,000 people (14,000 families) involved in the targeted social assistance program. This program covers 350,000 people, and the average monthly amount of social assistance for each family exceeded 225 manat ($132.3).

Babayev also noted that by the order of Azerbaijan’s president, the number of paid public jobs has been brought to 90,000, and the self-employment program has been expanded.

“This year, within the program, work is underway to create small family farms for 12,000 families,” he said. “The activities to expand and support this program have involved the World Bank, the UN Development Program, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, local banks, the Agency for the Development of SMEs, ABAD Simplified Support to Family Businesses public legal entity, the Food Security Agency, and the Ministry of Agriculture.”

The minister pointed out that as part of social support measures, more than 15,000 single and disabled people over 65 were provided social services at home, and about 1,000 people - in stationary conditions.

He stressed that social services including 200,000 food parcels were provided twice to 100,000 disabled people, families with disabled children, large families and low-income families.

The minister noted that during the special quarantine regime, the payment of subsidies to the disabled and the unemployed continues due to the expiration of their insurance payment, as well as scholarships to those who have a break in professional training.

According to him, this support measure covers 16,000 people.

By the order of President Ilham Aliyev, the program of providing housing and individual housing for families of martyrs and war invalids has been expanded, said the minister.

Babayev added that at least 1,500 apartments and private houses for them will be commissioned in record time, which is almost 3 times more than in 2018, and 60 percent more than in 2019. Of these, 554 apartments have already been commissioned, including 250 over the last 20 days.

($1 = 1.7 manat on Aug.7)