Briefing document on the effectiveness of socio-economic measures to combat COVID-19 pandemic and the management of medical crisis during the quarantine period in Azerbaijan

This document analyses the quarantine rules, government handling of medical crisis and effectiveness of socio-economic relief measures applied by Azerbaijan to combat the COVID- 19 pandemic. Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center (EMDS) based this report on the laws in force, the information, documents and reports of relevant authorities, different organizations and media sources, alongside the results of its own observation.

The Cabinet Ministers started the relevant measures after the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Azerbaijan on 27 February. On April 4th, Cabinet of Ministers confirmed the action plan to improve the worsened socio-economic situation of the population due to pandemic related restrictions. The action plan was sought to offer one-off social allowances, economic discounts and stimuli to vulnerable groups, entrepreneurs and employees from sectors that were hit by coronavirus. As part of the plan, people became unemployed because of coronavirus got 190 AZN (~ 112 USD) whereas entrepreneur victims of the pandemic received amount of tax paid in 2019 fiscal year or at least 250 AZN (147 USD) as one-off payments. EMDS notes that the registration of people in need during the pandemic and the number of unemployed persons and people with low-income were not determined necessarily which, as a result, deprived thousands of citizens of regular socio-economic financial helps. The fairness principle was not duly taken into account in terms of helps to entrepreneurs, individual entrepreneurs did not receive financial helps adequate to their significant losses due to the pandemic.

In order to attain high quality in distant education, the problems with user habits of teachers and internet opportunities for users in regions must be solved, discounted prices should be achieved to provide education sector with efficient and effective internet and equipment.

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