BAKU, 19 December 2018 – A new flagship project aiming to support the creation of new businesses for people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups was signed today between the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Azerbaijan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The five-year project – ‘Creating Inclusive and Decent Jobs for Socially Vulnerable Groups’ – will enhance the capacities of unemployed job-seekers among the less fortunate segments of society and introduce them to a wide array of opportunities in the formal labour market.
The project, which is funded by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and UNDP, will involve in its first phase an unprecedented and ambitious plan to support 500 households with a person with disability nationwide in the establishment of sustainable businesses of their own.
Up to 500 candidates with the best business plans will receive financial and technical support to facilitate the registration and formalisation process for these new establishments. The support will include the provision of necessary equipment and raw material to businesses.
Emphasising the Government’s commitment and continuous leadership in disability inclusion today, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Sahil Babayev noted that successful history of partnership with UNDP was crucial for all the progressive improvements and reforms in this area. Noting the importance of joint activities, Minister Babayev also spoke about milestone achievements of another collaborative work with UNDP, which, similar to the current project, also tackles employment needs of vulnerable population groups. Mr. Babayev added that this project, “Promoting Innovation and Employment”, helps young people to acquire necessary job search skills and, through training centres in Baku and other parts of the country, facilitates greater employment opportunities for the youth within a fairly short period of time.
Within the new project signed today, UNDP will provide technical assistance, capacity development and operational support aimed at strengthening the capacity of employment practitioners to design and implement effective Active Labour Market Measures (ALMMs). A team of designated mentors and trainers will also provide individual support to people with disabilities after the registration of their businesses while the project team will be available to provide coaching throughout the process.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, UNDP Resident Representative a.i., Mr. Alessandro Fracassetti, noted that self-employment projects such as this can show that entrepreneurship can work for all. “Inclusive employment can significantly accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the spirt of leaving no one behind”, he added.
The project is part of a larger self-employment programme implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Azerbaijan since 2016.