The challenges facing our world, including environmental, technological and demographic changes, plus rapidly changing labor markets, place new demands day by day. In this context, people need a guarantee to live a decent life. These various crises demonstrate that societies with strong social protection schemes can protect their populations more effectively and more quickly from the negative effects of such events. Azerbaijan is no exception. On 21 July 1992, the then Chairman of the Supreme Soviet Isa Gambarov approved the Decision of the National Assembly of the Republic of Azerbaijan to accede to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.[1] Azerbaijan formally acceded to the covenant on 13 August 1992. Thus, Azerbaijan nominally adopted the social protection system embraced by the rest of the world, and all existing legislation on social protection was drafted in accordance with the covenant.

Pursuant to Article 16 of the Constitution, the Azerbaijani state ensures the improvement of prosperity of all people and each citizen, their social protection and proper living conditions,[2] while Article 15 thereof states that the Azerbaijani state participates in the development of the culture, education, public health, science, arts, protects environment, historical, material and spiritual heritage of the people.[3] According to Article 38, everyone has the right to social protections, which are given for certain categories. These include protections administered upon reaching retirement age, in case of illness, disability, loss of bread-winner in the family, due to unemployment and in other cases envisaged by law. Beyond that, recently the state has formed five national priorities covering the next decade for the country’s socio-economic development with “Azerbaijan 2030: National Priorities for Socio-Economic Development,” which was approved 2 February 2021.[4] One of these priorities is a dynamic, inclusive society based on social justice. According to the document, people with disabilities, including children under the age of 18 with poor health, should be supported by making the social security system more effective and fairer for such low-income and vulnerable groups.

Thus, under the Constitution, Azerbaijan is a social state. But in reality, how is social policy established and enacted in Azerbaijan? What is the main purpose of the state’s social policy? What changes have taken place in recent times, especially since 2015?

2015 is of particular import because in that year, the Azerbaijani economy faced a serious problem. As a result of two devaluations, the population’s real income fell sharply. Even official statistical data show that in 2015-2020, the population’s nominal income rose 33,49%,[5] while the country’s consumer price index increased 33,2%.[6] That is, according to official data, real income fell by 10,5%. In 2021, the population’s nominal income rose 2,6%[7], while the average annual inflation rate was 6,7% (12,0% compared to the same period the previous year).[8] This situation increased the need for social protection schemes. How did the state react to this? We will try to study these issues in this paper.

Our study consists of three parts, each of which is a separate article. In the first part, we will give an overview of mechanisms for the implementation of social policy. Here, we will describe the amount of benefits or pensions to various socially vulnerable groups, and the situation in this field as a whole. We will also analyze the issue of child allowance, which has recently become one of the most pressing issues. In the second part, we will describe the situation of other socially vulnerable groups defined as adults by focusing on the current policies and key challenges in poverty, unemployment, disability and pensions. The third part briefly describes the mechanism used to finance social expenditures in the country, and reveals the amount of funding allocated for social spending and its distribution. Thus, in this three-part article, we will outline the core objectives and principles reflected in Azerbaijan’s existing social policy. In our opinion, today’s Azerbaijan has prioritized saving as a basic principle in its social policy, especially in recent times (after the 2015 crises). 

Overview of Social Policy in Azerbaijan

ILO Report

We will explore the social policy Azerbaijan has implemented in two directions. First, we refer to reports from international organizations that specialize in social policy. We thereafter describe measures taken in that regard in Azerbaijan.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) is one of the key international organizations engaged in social policy. One of ILO’s strategic objectives is to enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all, in addition to setting and promoting standards and fundamental principles and rights at work.[9] The ILO prepares a World Social Protection Report every four years. The main purpose of this document is to describe the changes that have taken place in social protection schemes around the world and the impact of these changes on the population. The latest report, published in 2021, studies the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with conventional social protection schemes.[10] The report provides figures for each country by several criteria.

One of the indicators of the coverage of the population by social protection schemes is pension coverage. According to the latest report, the coverage for old-age protection with the pension scheme in Azerbaijan has fallen sharply over the past two decades, down from 90% in 2000 to roughly 73% between 2015 and 2020. The corresponding figure is 50-60% for men and 70-80% for women. Currently, less than 40% of men of working age (15+) and 25% of women are able to provide for their future pensions. Among neighboring countries, this figure is over 60% in Turkey, 50% in Iran and 40-50% in Armenia. 

Table 1 Population groups in Azerbaijan covered by social protection schemes

Indicator Azerbaijan Global average Average for countries in the same income group
Population covered by at least one social protection cash benefit 39,0 46,9 64,0
Relevant population groups covered by social protection schemes
Children 16,9 26,4 22,6
Mothers with newborns 16,0 44,9 52,5
Persons with severe disabilities[11] 100,0 33,5 40,5
Unemployed 19,1 18,6 17,5
Older persons 72,8 77,5 91,3
Percentage of labor force covered by cash benefits in case of employment injury 32,1 35,4 36,3
Assistance schemes for low-income families 13,4 28,9 34,4
Percentage of labor force covered by pension schemes 30,2[12] 32,5 70,9
Universal health protection 65,0 65,6 76,7

Source: ILO, World Socıal Protectıon Report, 2021.

Namely, a pension is already becoming difficult to obtain and rely on in Azerbaijan. At the same time, according to the International Labor Organization, non-contributory pensions (this is called old-age cash benefit in Azerbaijan) for those who are not eligible for a pension account for 46,6% of the absolute poverty line in the country. This figure is 109% in Georgia, 95,1% in Kazakhstan, 46,4% in Russia, 38,8% in Armenia and 21,7% in Turkey. In the Philippines, which is ahead of Azerbaijan on the list, the same figure is equal to 53,7%. Thus, people without contributory pensions in Azerbaijan are almost certainly poor.

Azerbaijan is generally classified as an upper-middle income group in the ILO report. This group also includes countries such as Iran, Turkey, Venezuela and Serbia. Table 1 compares Azerbaijan’s performance in each category with global averages and the averages for the countries with which Azerbaijan is in the same income group. As can be seen, the situation in Azerbaijan differs from both the countries in the same group and the global average. Only 39% of the population in Azerbaijan is covered by at least one social protection cash benefit. (This figure covers all other social benefits except for health or sickness benefits.) While the global average is 46,9% covered, the relevant figure for the same group including Azerbaijan is 64%.

The second indicator applies to children. It highlights the ratio of children/households receiving child/family cash benefits to the total number of children/households with children in the country. However, only 16,9% of children in the country are covered by at least one social protection cash benefit. This figure is 57,4% in Kazakhstan, 48,1% in Georgia, 30,2% in Armenia, including the global average of 26,4% and 22% in high-income countries. In developed countries, the figure is 87% (none of the calculations takes into account health expenditures). Examples of countries which are at the same level as Azerbaijan are Burkina Faso, South Sudan and Honduras. Mothers of newborns are also not covered by social protection. Thus, only 16,0% of mothers of children born in 2021 receive various benefits. This figure is 44,2% in Kazakhstan, 61,6% in Armenia, 26% in Georgia, with a global average of 45%, 10,5% in low-income countries, 52% in middle-income countries and 86% in high-income countries.

The unemployment statistics are far from encouraging. According to the ILO, only 19.1% of the unemployed in Azerbaijan are covered by at least one social protection cash benefit. By the way, those injured at work also face serious problems, and only 32,1% of them are covered by social protection schemes. Unemployed or low-income socially vulnerable groups are also virtually excluded from social protection. Only 13,4% of them are covered by at least one social protection cash benefit. This figure is 74,2% in Kazakhstan and 93% in Georgia, including the global average of 29%, 7,8% in low-income countries, 35% in middle-income countries, and 63% in high-income countries.

Social Policy in Azerbaijan 

The ILO in the report presents the general situation in Azerbaijan and compares it with other countries. But more detail is needed to understand the real situation with social policy. Therefore, we will try to provide at least some information about the social protection mechanisms applied in Azerbaijan. Our main focus will be on the transformation that has occurred in recent years. To make it more effective and useful, we will deal with socially vulnerable groups (children, pensioners, the poor, the disabled).

There are several laws and regulations in Azerbaijan that directly regulate social relations: the law on social benefits (including targeted state social assistance), presidential decrees determining their amount, and the law on pensions. Social contributions can, in fact, be divided into two parts: payments regulated by the Law on Social Benefits[13] and the Law on Labor Pensions. Those not included in the first law are targeted state social assistance. They are regulated by a separate law.[14] Regarding the benefits, there are two types of benefits in Azerbaijan, monthly and lump-sum.

Below are types of payments given in monthly allowances:

1. lifelong benefit to a government employee;
2. benefits distributed upon retirement to those who have no accrued enough work experience to receive a pension;
3. the disability benefit, to persons with disability older than 18;
4. benefit to children with limited opportunities for health up to 18 years of age;
5. benefit upon the loss of family bread-winner;
6. benefit for municipal, transport and other services to some categories of persons as established by a relevant organ of the executive authority;
7. child care allowance for children up to three years;
8. child allowance for military personnel executing valid compulsory military service;
9. benefit to guardians (custodians) of children who have lost parents and/or have been deprived of parent guardianship;
10. benefit to needy families with children aged up to one year;
11. benefit paid to the spouse of deceased ex-presidents of the Azerbaijan Republic or surviving dependent children according to the Constitutional Law of the Azerbaijan Republic “On providing for the Ex-president of the Azerbaijan Republic and members of his family”;
12. benefit to women with five or more children;
13. benefit for adopted children, including children up to 18 years of age with limited opportunities for health.

And below are lump-sum allowances:

1. benefit for annual treatment to persons who were injured owing to radiation accident/s;
2. benefit upon birth of a child;
3. benefit for burial.

Most of the benefits are financed from the state budget (in the case of an insured event, they are financed from the State Social Protection Fund). In addition, for some time now, a number of benefits (or additional payments) in Azerbaijan have taken the form of presidential pensions. There are currently 13 types of presidential pensions, meaning pensions awarded from the office of the president to citizens (see Table 2).[15] Thus, in addition to pensions, there are 13 types of allowances, 3 lump-sum allowances, 1 type of social assistance (periodically, different types of social assistance are applied, but they are lump-sum or related to any event), and 13 types of pensions awarded by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Based on these mechanisms, we will try to describe social policy for socially vulnerable groups.

Table 2 Azerbaijan Presidential Allowances

Amount as of 31.12.2021[16]
Presidential allowance for a person with disabilities connected with the war or the events of 20 January
Group I 400
Group II 350
Group III 300
Presidential allowance for a member of the family of 20 January martyrs 500
Presidential allowance for a member of a martyr’s family 500
Presidential allowance for persons named a Republic of Azerbaijan Hero of the Patriotic War 2000
Presidential allowance for persons named a Republic of Azerbaijan National Hero 1800
Monthly stipend of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan for honorary titles[17]
For the honorary title of “People’s” 150
For the honorary title of “Honored” 100
Benefit of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan to persons with disabilities of 1st group due to general illness and illness during military service, injury and occupational disease, due to being in the zone of military operations, or for injuries incurred in participation in the liquidation of the accident at the Chernobyl NPP 130
Presidential benefit of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan for the families of servicemen killed in the course of international duty in the Soviet Army in Afghanistan 500
Benefit of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan to those who care for persons with disability of 1st group or of persons under the age of 18[18] 50
Benefit of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan for participants of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, as well as for persons who worked for the city’s enterprises, departments and organizations during the Second World War, during the siege of Leningrad, and awarded the Leningrad Defense Medal, for the persons awarded with the medal “Living in the Leningrad Siege” (excluding persons with disability caused by war) 300
Presidential benefit replacing the social allowances for utilities, transportation and other services, as well as the insurance portion of the labor pension of the war participants who served in the warring army 80
To persons with 1st degree visual impairment for general reasons (Instead of pension supplement and presidential stipend) 210
To persons who have worked in scientific institutions and organizations or educational institutions for at least 25 years, have a scientific degree, are not employed, and are entitled to a labor pension at the main place of work, where the employment record is registered[19]
For the degree of Doctor of Philosophy 120
For the degree of Doctor of Sciences 200

 

Child Allowance

The question of child allowance has periodically taken its place on Azerbaijan’s legislative and political agenda in the last few years. Azerbaijan once implemented a type of benefit known colloquially as “child allowance.” Thus, Azerbaijan in 2005-2006 brought into force new laws in connection with the social protection mechanism. Since then, previously existing rules for assigning benefits for children from low-income families have become null and void. A new mechanism – targeted state social assistance – was launched to support low-income families. According to the rules that existed before 2005, if the average monthly family income per person was less than 16500 manat (that is, 3,3 AZN in today’s terms after the redenomination of the manat in 2015), families were able to receive a monthly allowance of 9000 manat (that is, 1,80 AZN) starting from the month of a child’s birth until the age of 16 (until the age of 18 if they do not receive a scholarship).[20] The benefit for some groups (for the children of military personnel on fixed-term military service, for the children of disabled war veterans, etc.) was slightly higher.

However, the overwhelming majority of Azerbaijanis were not covered by this benefit. In other words, in order to be eligible for it, the per person income in a family had to be less than 3,3 manats. According to the State Statistical Committee, the minimum wage for 2005 was 25 manats per month,[21] while the average monthly nominal wage stood at 123,6 manats[22]. In other words, if at least one person in the average statistical family earned the minimum wage, it was 5-6 manats per person per month in a family of 4-5 members. However, statistical data show that the poverty line for 2005 was 42,6 manats per month. [23] Thus, in 2005, even a family that could be considered poor was unable to receive that payment.

In recent years, high on the national agenda has been the issue of child allowance, especially after the drop in the population’s income in 2015.[24] In spite of the fact that the issue was repeatedly discussed in Parliament, there has been no immediate and concrete action by the government. The Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population Sahil Babayev flippantly dismissed this issue late in 2021. Characterizing the demand as one for a universal child allowance, as opposed to a means-tested one (see below), according to him, there are currently more than 2,7 million children under 18 in Azerbaijan. “If we take into account the proposals to assign 100 manats in monthly allowance, it is 3,3 billion manats per year. As social programs are usually developed for 10 years, we will need more than 30 billion manats to provide child allowance during this period. It is therefore unacceptable to pay so much money for this benefit alone.”[25]

The issue of child allowance has become relevant not for demographic reasons, but due to the socio-economic situation in the country. No significant commentator in the country is demanding that all children in the country be provided with child allowance. Instead, they are asking only that poor families receive child allowances for their children. Children now face an environment of inequality, relying on declining family incomes. However, the minister, as quoted above, has caricatured the position of critics by incorrectly voicing their demand for the child allowance. In his dismissal of the demand as too expensive, he suggests that critics are asking for a universal child allowance when in fact, they are asking for a means-tested one. In the next section, we will show that most of the country’s poor and destitute families are not provided with social security at all. Existing social welfare mechanisms take no account of the real situation of the population.

How is existing social protection system for children in Azerbaijan built? As noted above, only 16,9% of children in the country are covered by social protection. The children’s social protection system consists of different stages. There are 9 benefits related to children. Except for the benefit for the birth of a child, all benefits are paid monthly. In addition, there are three types of presidential stipends that cover children as well (see Table 3).

Table 3. Amount of Child Benefit

Types of benefit Amount as at 31.12.2021[26] Amount from 01.01.2022[27]
Benefit to children under 18 with disabilities 150 200
Benefit in connection with loss of family bread-winner 80 100
Child care benefit paid for each eligible child aged 3 years and under* Aged 0-1,5 – 44, aged 1,5- 3  – 28 aged 0-1,5 – 44, aged 1,5- 3 – 28
Benefit to children of military personnel executing valid compulsory military service 100 120
Benefit to guardians (custodians) of children who have lost parents and/or have been deprived of parent guardianship 100 120
Benefit to needy families with children up to one year old 55 70
Benefit to women with five or more children* 55 70[28]
Benefit for adopted children 160 200
Benefit for children with limited opportunities for health up to 18 years old 480 600
Benefit for birth of a child* 200 300
The Presidential benefit for the family members of the martyrs of 20 January 1990 500 500
The Presidential benefit for family members of martyrs 500 500
The Presidential benefit for those who take care of persons with a disability of the 1st group or of persons under the age of 18[29] 50 80

* Paid out of the State Social Protection Fund (SSPF), if either parent is employed. Otherwise, it is financed from the State budget.

According to Azerbaijani legislation, when the state registers a person under the age of 18 as having a disability, it does not register the corresponding disability group of the person’s disability. For a long time, the amount of benefits paid to children with disabilities under the age of 18 was equal to that paid to 1st Group disabled persons. Since 2022, these figures have changed: 1st Group disabled persons receive 220 manats and children with disabilities under 18 receive 200 manats. As of October 1 2021, the children in this group numbered 55.191 (see Figure 1). As can be seen from the figure, in 2018-2019, the number of children receiving benefits began to decline sharply, stemming mostly from the disability-related reforms (for more on this, see the article’s Disability section). To understand the rate of decline, we can note that 56.091 children were entitled to benefits as of 1 October 2020, compared to 52.645 as of 1 January 1 2021. In other words, 3.446 children were deprived of benefits over 3 months. This may have natural causes (children who reached the age of 18), but in previous years, children reaching the age of majority were offset by newborns. In fact, this is a trend that begins in 2018: from that time on the overall number of disabled children receiving benefits, with one exception in 2021, has decreased dramatically.

Figure 1 Number of people entitled to child benefits, (2006-2021)

*The figures for 2021 cover only the period from September to January.

According to the above statistics, as of October 1, 2021, there are 49.000 children who have experienced the loss of at least one parent before the age of majority. Eligible survivors include a retired spouse or a spouse with a Group I or II disability, a non-working spouse caring for a child (of the deceased spouse) younger than age 18, children younger than age 18 (age 23 if a full-time student, no limit if disabled before age 18). Other eligible survivors include dependent parents who are retired or have a Group I or II disability and a parent, grandparent, or sibling who does not work but cares for one or more of the deceased’s children, siblings, or grandchildren younger than age 8.[30]

The amount of the childcare benefit for children below 3 varies according to the age of the child – 44 manats from birth to 1,5 years, and 28 manats from 1,5 to 3 years. This is also paid out of the State Social Protection Fund (SSPF). By the end of 2020, it was granted to 39.063 children (compared to 40.200 a year ago), according to data from the Chamber of Accounts. In the first half of 2021, this figure was 21.624. [31]

The main point to understand about benefits for newborns is the source of benefits. When at least one family member works, the relevant benefit is paid out of the State Social Protection Fund. Otherwise, it is financed from the state budget. In 2020, for example, 126.300 families in Azerbaijan were entitled to receive the lump sum benefit for the birth of a child, with 48.600 paid out of the State Social Protection Fund and 77.600 out of the state budget.

Table 4 Number of children covered by social protection mechanisms

Types of benefit Amount as at 01.01.2021 Amount as at 01.10.2021
Benefit for children up to 18 years with limited opportunities for health 52 645 55 191
Benefits for children who lost their head of household 49 190 48 897
Child care benefit paid for each eligible child aged 3 years or younger 39 063 21 624*
Benefit to children of military personnel executing valid compulsory military service 12 500 11 100
Benefit to guardians (custodians) of the children who have lost parents and/or have been deprived of parent guardianship 244 229
Benefit to needy families with children aged up to one year 1 855 1 255
Benefit to women with five or more children 8 922 9 263
Benefit for the birth of a child paid out of MLSPP 77 644 49 765
Benefit for the  birth of a child paid out of SSPF 48 623 35 863
TOTAL 290 686 233 187
Percentage of children under 18 10,07% 8,08%

* No statistical date for 9 months are available to us, as it is paid out of the State Social Protection Fund. Therefore, this figure covers the first 6 months of 2021.

According to data from the State Statistical Committee, there were 2.885.300 persons under 18 in the country at the beginning of 2021. Thus, the percentage of children directly covered by child benefits was 10,07% at the end of 2020, compared to 8,08% at 1 October 2021. It is true that children were entitled to other benefits in addition to the above-mentioned social benefits (for example, in 2021, the cost of benefits for children of the families of martyrs increased 10 times compared to the same period last year – from 44,68 thousand to 450,52 thousand).[32] In addition, children are also entitled to a number of other payments (targeted state social assistance, benefits for IDPs, etc.). In this section, we have analyzed only the benefits that can be directly called child benefits (paid according to the number of children or per child. For example, targeted state social assistance is related to the income of parents). As can be seen, this figure was 10% in Azerbaijan at the end of 2020, compared to 8% on 1 October 2021. On the other hand, on average, a child received 59,2 manats per month in 2020 and 69 manats per month in the first 9 months of 2021. As a result, the 2020 and 2021 annual expenditures of the state totaled 206,5 and 193,3 million manats, respectively. If we assume that the existing child benefit system covers all children under 18 in Azerbaijan, then the 2020 and 2021 government expenditures could total, accordingly, 2 billion manats and 2,4 billion manats (see Table 5).

Table 5 In case the existing Child Benefit covers all children 

Indicator 2020 2021
 Number of children covered by social benefits, as shown in table 4 290 686 233 187
Costs of social benefits (in AZN), as shown in table 4 206 517 636,00 193 288 768,00
Average cost per child, in AZN 59,20 69,08
Number of children countrywide 2 890 100 2 885 300
Costs in case all children are covered, in AZN 2 053 127 040,00 2 391 798 288,00

Conclusions

This article has focused mainly on how to describe existing social welfare policy in Azerbaijan. We first looked at it with the example of child benefits. Since 2015, the real income of the population has declined by an average of 10,5 per cent, causing their social and economic conditions to deteriorate. In many cases, children are often most immediately affected by this loss of economic means. As a result, children are deprived of quality education and health services. Therefore, the Azerbaijani state must intervene in this matter; however, state officials have taken little initiative.

According to a report from the International Labour Organization (ILO), child poverty is expected to increase in the coming years. To address this expected sharp increase, the state must invest in social protection for children and even recommend a transition to a system of “universal social protection for children.” The Azerbaijani government, on the contrary, is taking steps towards weakening children’s social welfare. By our estimates, the number of children receiving benefits that can be directly described as Child Allowance was 10 per cent at the end of 2020, while this figure fell to 8 per cent as of 1 October 2021. Instead of covering more children, the system has covered the same amount or fewer. In return, the economic situation for many of the country’s poorest and even middle class is deteriorating (the COVID-19 pandemic and long-term quarantine, etc.): What should the state do?

First, the state needs to build a system of support for children from low-income groups at the very least. When we say “low-income,” we mean the need criterion used in Azerbaijan. In our opinion, this figure does not reflect the reality. To this end, concrete and realistic criteria should be developed. They shouldn’t be based on hypothetical figures, but on real market conditions. For example, preschoolers should be provided with essential food, basic clothing, or school children with school supplies, clothing, food, and other needs. The state’s child allowance should also be part of a comprehensive policy. That is, a childcare system should be simultaneously developed (kindergartens, maternity benefits, and everything else). While this system for now will protect the most vulnerable, the eventual goal should be the establishment of a universal social protection system for children, and we believe these above steps should push the state in the right direction. With the establishment of a fair social protection system, all groups of children in society will have equal opportunities and rights, thus proving its value as an economic investment in the future.

 

Notes and references:

[1] “Decision of the National Assembly of the Republic of Azerbaijan to accede to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.1992.  http://www.e-qanun.az/framework/7507

[2] Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan. 2022. http://www.e-qanun.az/framework/897

[3] Ibid..

[4] Azerbaijan 2030: National Priorities for Socio-Economic Development. 2021. https://president.az/az/articles/view/50474

[5] Key macroeconomic indicators. State Statistical Committee. 2022. https://www.stat.gov.az/source/system_nat_accounts/az/001.xls

[6] Consumer price index. State Statistical Committee. 2021. https://www.stat.gov.az/source/price_tarif/az/001_2az.xlsx

[7] Macro-economic indicators and social development of the country (January-December, 2021). State Statistical Committee. 2022. https://www.stat.gov.az/news/macroeconomy.php?page=4

[8] About level and dynamic of prices in consumer market. State Statistical Committee. 2022. https://www.stat.gov.az/news/source/Press-12_21.pdf

[9] Mission and impact of the ILO. International Labour Organization. 2015. https://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/mission-and-objectives/lang–en/index.htm

[10] World Social Protection Report 2020-22: Social protection at the crossroads – in a pursuit of a better future. International Labour Organization. 2021. https://www.ilo.org/global/publications/books/WCMS_817572/lang–en/index.htm

[11]Interestingly, the 100% disability rate applies to almost all countries in the region (Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, etc.). Perhaps the main question here is the accounting. Since, persons with severe health problems should automatically receive disability cash benefits. However, the figure that how many people in the country are covered is far from accurate.

[12] This indicator is 2.8% in ILO’s World Socıal Protectıon Report (p. 274). However, this figure is 30.2% in ILO’s World Social Protection Data Dashboards. For more: World Social Protection Data Dashboards. International Labour Organization. 2021. https://www.social-protection.org/gimi/WSPDB.action?id=13

[13] Social Allowance Law. 2020. http://www.e-qanun.az/framework/11508

[14] Law on Targeted Social Assistance. 2020. http://www.e-qanun.az/framework/10854

[15] Pensions. The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan (MLSPP). 2022. https://www.sosial.gov.az/t%C9%99qa%C3%BCdl%C9%99r

[16] Under several decrees issued on December 20, 2021, the amount of some payments has been increased.

[17] Increased from 01.01.2022: “Order No.878 of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated July 4, 2005,” On Issuing a Monthly Scholarship for Honorary Titles “. 2021. http://e-qanun.az/framework/48685

[18] Increased from 01.01.2022: Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Amending the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated April 15, 2019, No. 343 “On the Establishment of the Presidential Scholarship for the persons caring for persons with the first-degree disabilities and for children under 18 with disabilities”  http://e-qanun.az/framework/48692

[19] Increased from 01.01.2022: Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Amending the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated December 30, 2020, No. 1129 “On the Establishment of the Presidential Scholarship for the persons who have worked in scientific institutions and organizations or educational institutions for at least 25 years, have a scientific degree, are not employed, and are entitled to a labor pension at the main place of work, where the employment record is registered” http://www.e-qanun.az/framework/48674

[20] Regulations on the rules for the assignment and payment of benefits to families with children. 2004. http://www.e-qanun.az/framework/11008

[21] Measures of minimum wages and salaries determined in Republic. State Statistical Committee. 2021. https://www.stat.gov.az/source/labour/az/004_1.xls

[22] Average monthly nominal wages and salaries by economic activities. State Statistical Committee. 2021. https://www.stat.gov.az/source/labour/az/004_2-3.xls

[23] Poverty line and poverty level. State Statistical Committee. 2021. https://www.stat.gov.az/source/budget_households/az/5.4.xls

[24] MP’s proposal: The child allowance must be restored. Yeni Avaz. 2017 https://www.yeniavaz.com/az/news/65061/deputatdan-teklif-usaq-pulu-berpa-edilsin; ‘Restore child allowance in Azerbaijan’ – 100 parents appeal to the Milli Majlis. Yeni Avaz. 2018.  https://www.yeniavaz.com/az/newscontent/znewscontent/87123/azerbaycanda-usaq-pulu-berpa-edilsin-100-valideynden-milli-meclise-muraciet; Will the child allowance be restored – REPORT. Bakupost. 2019. https://www.bakupost.az/usaq-pulu-berpa-edilecekmi-aiqlama; Is child allowance effective? – ANALYTICS. Report. 2019. https://report.az/sosial-mudafie/usaq-pullari-tesirlidirmi-anali-ti-ka/; “If child allowance is applied, should we refuse social assistance.” Gunun Sesi. 2019. https://www.gununsesi.info/usaq-pulu-t%C9%99tbiq-olunsa-sosial-yardimdan-imtina-etm%C9%99liyik/; MPs raise the issue of restoring the child allowance in Parliament. APA. 2020. https://apa.az/az/social-news/Deputatlar-usaq-pulunun-brpa-olunmasi-mslsini-Milli-Mclisd-qaldiriblar-599824

[25] Sahil Babayev explains the reasons for non-payment of child allowance. Report. 2021. https://report.az/sehiyye-xeberler/sahil-babayev-usaqpulunun-verilmemesinin-sebeblerini-aciqlayib/

[26] Under several decrees dated December 20, 2021, the amount of some payments has been increased.

[27] On increasing the amount of social benefits. Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. 2021.  http://www.e-qanun.az/framework/26488

[28] Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on determining the amount of social benefit for women with more than five children. 2021. http://www.e-qanun.az/framework/27535

[29] Increased from 01.01.2022: Presidential Decree on amendments to the Decree “On the establishment of Azerbaijan presidential pension for carers of invalids of I Group and/or children under 18 years of age with disabilities” No. 643 dated April 15, 2019,. http://e-qanun.az/framework/48692

[30] Social Allowance Law. 2020. http://www.e-qanun.az/framework/11508

[31] OPINION of the Chamber of Accounts of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the 2022 draft budget of the State Social Protection Fund. 2021. https://sai.gov.az/files/DSMF_2022%20budget%20project%20Final-693361270.pdf

[32] Report on the execution of State budget expenditures (by paragraphs of functional and economic classifications). Ministry of Finance 2022. http://maliyye.gov.az/scripts/pdfjs/web/viewer.html?file=/uploads/periodic-reports/2021/12/8.pdf