By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan’s social policy implementation activities have been extremely effective in recent years. Significant progress has been made in the areas of social security, employment, medical and social rehabilitation. The government has been more aware of the problems of vulnerable social groups.
The President’s social policy and the effective work of social protection structures have contributed to the solution of a wide range of socially important issues. It is worth remembering that there was a pandemic a few years ago and there are still quarantine restrictions in place. Moreover, the global economy is in a state of disarray. All of these can not be classified as positive external factors.
Despite this, and thanks to effective measures taken, the country has maintained social, political and socio-economic stability.
Under the presidential decree, three packages of social reforms covering half of the country’s population after 2018 were implemented with an annual economic value of AZN 6.5 billion ($ 3.8 billion).
Over the past four years, the national average wage has grown by about 40 percent, the median wage has risen by 74 percent, and the minimum wage has multiplied.
The minimum pension increased 2.2 times, while the average monthly pension increased by 65 percent. Supplements and pensions for low-income groups increased on average 2.5 to 3 times and in some cases more than 3 times.
Moreover, one of the most important social directions that Azerbaijan pursues is the expansion of state aid to martyr families and disabled war veterans. In this context, 103,000 social benefits were allocated to 93,000 people in this category as social benefits. At the beginning of 2021, the amount of pensions paid increased by 60 percent. At the same time, disability benefits have been increased by 60 percent.
Improving living conditions
The number of houses and apartments built by Azerbaijan for families of martyrs and the wounded in the war is increasing. Azerbaijan set it to itself as a priority task during Armenia’s occupation, and it is now being addressed after the Second Karabakh War. The president established the goal of resolving the living conditions of the families of the first and second Karabakh war martyrs and those wounded in the war.
In this context, over the last three years, 6,300 flats have been made available to this category of citizens.
Last year, about 3,000 apartments were made available to families of martyrs and disabled war veterans. 200 apartments were delivered in the first quarter of this year, with a further 1,500 expected by the end of the year.
On January 25, 2021, the head of state signed an order to provide 11,000 apartments and private homes for families of martyrs and disabled Karabakh war veterans. The process is currently underway and is expected to be completed in 2025.
In addition, about 1,450 disabled war veterans have received cars over the past four years. As a result, the number of disabled war veterans who have received cars has risen to 7,400.
Employment support measures
A further focus area of Azerbaijan’s social policy is employment support measures.
The number of people involved in self-employment increased by 13.8 times to 16,232 last year.
Over the past four years and the first quarter of this year, more than 44,000 people were involved in the program, creating small families and businesses.
The paid public works program, which increases employment opportunities for the unemployed and jobseekers, has also been significantly expanded. About 56,000 people have been hired through the program.
Within this framework, employment measures were also taken with regard to 11,000 martyred family members and disabled war veterans. Half of them were involved in independent programs and were given the opportunity to start a small family farm.
Another direction was the active employment program, in which more than 2,000 martyr family members and disabled war veterans were employed as part of the employment marathon.
Azerbaijan’s care for those who have sacrificed their health in the name of the liberating indigenous countries goes beyond social payments. Azerbaijan is successfully carrying out the process of providing rehabilitation assistance to disabled and wounded war veterans.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Security has provided 23,000 rehabilitation services to 8,000 soldiers wounded in the war. About 190 war veterans who have lost limbs have received 200 fourth-generation electronic prostheses.
In addition, 16,000 rehabilitation aids were distributed to approximately 3,000 soldiers who were wounded during the war.
The Rehabilitation Program for the Disabled in the April 2016 struggles launched by First Vice President Heydar Aliyev Foundation President Mehriban Aliyeva deserves special praise.
Participants in the fighting who were wounded in the fighting were provided with rehabilitation equipment manufactured by world-renowned companies in Germany, Iceland and the United Kingdom as part of this project.
Later, on the orders of President Ilham Aliyev, a workshop for the manufacture of high-tech prostheses was established in the orthopedic and rehabilitation center of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security with the assistance of the most advanced German company in this field, OTTO BOKK.
The workshop produces prostheses based on Genium standards, which allow for the most precise and comprehensive regulation of the movement of the limbs via an “electronic joint”.
President Ilham Aliyev has always given priority to caring for the families of martyrs and war veterans. It is no coincidence that his first decree was “on further measures to strengthen the social protection of family members of soldiers who died for the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan and were declared missing during military operations”.
Once again, it is clear that the tasks assigned to the Cabinet of Ministers, Ministries and Ministries at the head of state are feasible and that all the prerequisites are in place to ensure the country’s social security in the future.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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