A select few unemployed Azerbaijanis will once again receive $112 in aid
Unemployed people in Azerbaijan, including those who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, will receive a one-time aid payment in the amount of 190 manat [about $112] for the month of June.
The government gave out similar compensation in April and May, when the country was under strict quarantine. Now quarantine has been reinstated and the authorities decided to give out another lump-sum aid payment.
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Quarantine and previous compensations
Azerbaijan lifted the strict quarantine regime in mid-May. After that, the number of coronavirus cases rose sharply, and now about 500 new cases are detected per day. Because of this, from June 21 to July 5, restrictions on the movement of citizens were reintroduced in some regions of the country, and all shops (except grocery and drugstores), cafes, restaurants and other commercial facilities were closed.
In April and May, about 600,000 people across the country received aid. Moreover, among them were those who had been unemployed for a long time, even before the pandemic and the quarantine.
Residents of Baku, Sumgait, Ganja, Lankaran, as well as the Absheron, Yevlakh, Jalilabad and Masalli regions, where strict quarantine is being reintroduced, will receive one-time assistance, or more accurately, those of them who registered and received help last time will. Their employment status will be checked ahead of time to verify that they are (still) unemployed and have no source of income.
“Too little and not always fair”
Experts and the public had mixed views about the aid payment. Even when the last payments were made, many said that:
- firstly, 190 manats is a very small amount of money;
- secondly, there are many more than 600,000 people left without sources of income due to the quarantine, or otherwise unemployed;
- thirdly, the payment system itself is not regulated, and as a result, many of those who are rightfully entitled to compensation could not receive it.
As for the new aid repayment, the economist Gubad Ibadoglu writes that:
“When making this decision, they once again did not take into account that there are people who do not live in these areas, but still work there. And leaving them behind is unfair.”
In addition, during the last aid payment process, the authorities gave money business owners who had to suspend their operations due to the quarantine so that they could pay their employees’ salaries. This time around, there has been no mention of this kind of payment.
The overall quarantine regime in Azerbaijan has been extended until August 1. In particular, this means a ban on large gatherings and that borders will remain closed