Azerbaijan to start pilot program on targeted social aid from 2011 (PHOTOS)

Azerbaijan to start pilot program on targeted social aid from 2011 (PHOTOS)

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 28 /Trend, I.Khalilova/

The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Azerbaijan plans to introduce a system to sign social contracts with the recipients of targeted social aid (TSA) from 2011, the head of the department on poverty and policy of targeted social aid of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Natik Gasimov.

"Analysis of the program of targeted social aid over the last four years has revealed a great need of poor groups of population in the active involvement in the programs of social security, said Gasimov. - Due to this, it was decided to study the possible introduction of the principles, successfully implemented in many countries worldwide for issuing social aid, in Azerbaijan."

The first innovation, he said, will be signing social contracts, in which certain obligations will be assigned to the recipients of TSA that would lead to an increase in employment, provision of social services to needy families, creation of conditions for effective use of aid, he said.

In cooperation with the World Bank, a new program on social aid is prepared, which will facilitate the creation of conditions for self-securing of poor people in the future by addressing the factors affecting family poverty. "A similar practice is successfully implemented in five regions of Russia, and we plan to introduce it in two districts of Azerbaijan from 2011," said Gasimov.

Upon the recommendations of the WB, the draft program of self-securing will be tested in two pilot areas of the country during one year. According to Gasimov, in those districts, it is expected to completely pay social aid envisaged for the year provided that a business plan will be submitted with activities to be conducted through TSA funds. These funds may be spent on the development of agriculture, small businesses, individual activities. Guba and Ismayilli were selected as the pilot areas.

In mid next year, after making appropriate changes to the law on targeted social aid, it will be possible to extend the program to the whole country from 2012.

As of July 1, 2010, the number of recipients of TSA in the country amounted to 132,945 families (603,074 people). The average amount of TSA for a family in the country is 112.98 manat, per person - 24.91 manat. Of the total number of recipients of TSA, 108,277 people (81.4 percent) receive the aid for the first time.

Since 2006, Azerbaijan has introduced a TSA system. Its amount is determined based on the difference between "need criteria", which is 65 manat and income per family member.

Official rate on July 28 is 0.8036 AZN/USD.

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