Society 17:53 30/11/2020 Armenia

Some Artsakh refugees deprived of even 68,000 drams in aid due to flawed government program

According to the 16 November government decision, 68,000 drams in social assistance are to be allocated to citizens of Artsakh who took refuge in Armenia as a result of the war unleashed by the Azerbaijani-Turkish duo. The decision envisages financial assistance also to those citizens who have already returned to their homes in Artsakh.

At the November 26 meeting of the government, new Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mesrop Arakelyan announced that 30,000 citizens’ applications for receiving 68,000 drams in assistance had already been approved.

It was not clear from the minister's statement how many applications had been rejected. Panorama.am tried to find out the number of rejected applicants from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, but the ministry asked for a written inquiry on the matter.

It turns out that many people displaced from their homes in Artsakh are not entitled to receive such a small sum due to yet another flawed decision of the government.

One of the points of the decision states that no assistance is provided to those Artsakh citizens for whom a salary or other equivalent income was registered in Armenia in the period from January 1 to September 30, 2020. Due to that point, many Artsakh people were deprived of the assistance. Prior to their withdrawal from Artsakh, the latter worked for local Armenian companies. In particular, many displaced people worked in Armenian companies providing food to personnel of some units of the Artsakh Defense Army, and their salaries were registered in Armenia. This group of beneficiaries consists mainly of residents of Shahumyan and Kashatagh regions, the vast majority of whom have moved to Armenia. Today, they receive notices of rejection of their applications from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

Mothers and children of an Artsakh family are mostly deprived of such support, as children can be supported only if the mother's application is approved, while Artsakh men are largely deprived of that opportunity.

The other degrading requirement of the decision is that even after the approval of the application, the sum allocated to a beneficiary through other social security assistance programs must be removed from 68,000 drams. Children living in those districts of Artsakh are provided with an allowance of 30,000 drams. Therefore, if the applications are approved, they will receive only 38,000 drams in support.

One of the baseless restrictions of the decision refers to men. According to the decision of the structure that elaborated the program, males aged between 18 and 58 are not entitled to receive the social assistance, except for people with 1st and 2nd degree disabilities. In this case, the decision justifies that they are able to work.

However, at least 90% of able-bodied men displaced from Artsakh have factually lost their jobs. That age group must also include men who are raising their children alone, so his whole family is deprived of the support.

It turns out that even such a small amount of support does not reach all the real addressees with illogical restrictions, and the regular flawed program approved by the government does not fully serve the purpose, instead completely ensuring the PR of the incumbent authorities. 

A. Vardanyan



Source Panorama.am
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