The ceremony of laying the foundation of a residential complex for IDP families in Garadagh district of Baku

On May 30, the ceremony of laying the foundation of a new modern residential complex to be built for IDP families, 3 kilometres to the east of the Lokbatan-Gobu road, north-east of Lokbatan settlement of Garadagh district, Baku city, took place.

First Vice-president of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva attended the ceremony.

Mehriban Aliyeva addressed the ceremony of laying the foundation of a residential complex for IDP:

- Ladies and Gentlemen, esteemed participants of the event.

Today we laid the foundation of a new residential complex in Garadagh district with the purpose of improving the living conditions of refugees and IDP. It’s been over 20 years that over one million Azerbaijanis have been suffering from the aggression and occupation of Armenia. The problems our fellow citizens face are always a focus of attention of the state of Azerbaijan. Actions taken, steps made since the first years of our independence are among the principal directions of the state policy. With a view to improving the living conditions of our fellow citizens who have been forced out of their native lands, providing them with jobs, education and medical and other services, a State Programme was adopted in 2004, and amendments were approved to this Programme in 2007 and 2011. In general, over 6 billion Manats have been spent for the implementation of the actions taken in this direction.

Back in 2003, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mister Ilham Aliyev had mentioned in his pre-election promises that all tent villages will be removed within a matter of five years, and we made it, we made it in 4 years, instead of 5. The last tent village was removed in 2007, and people residing in grave conditions in tent villages were resettled into up to 100 new modern apartment buildings constructed for refugees and IDP. In general, this meant improvement of the living conditions of 50 thousand households, over 250 thousand people, providing them with new apartments.

For the last 13 years, over 400 thousand refugees and IDP were provided with new jobs. Schools and kindergartens were built in each settlement. Refugee and IDP children studying at paid higher and specialized secondary education institutions have been relieved of the burden of payment for education. A number of programmes being implemented today by the state, self-employment, opening jobs related to public work in the regions serve this purpose and solution of social problems of this stratum of the population; and a number of social issues have found their solutions.

In general, the experience of the state of Azerbaijan in this sphere – both removal of tent villages and also prevention of humanitarian catastrophe – is a rare experience. This experience has been highly appreciated by all international organizations. There are still problems in this sphere waiting their solution. Thousands of people are still residing in buildings fallen in disrepair, being in emergency condition, in Baku and Sumgait cities. Majority of the refugee and IDP families temporarily settled in this public buildings, kindergartens, boarding houses, unfinished buildings are living in grave conditions. In March this year, we held a meeting dedicated to this issue - resettlement of refugees and IDP from the buildings being in emergency condition in Baku and Sumgait cities, and all necessary instructions were given in this regard. An actions plan has been developed to resettle 4 thousand people residing in buildings in emergency conditions - with worst condition, in the first stage. At the moment, in accordance with this plan, 3 buildings in Masazyr settlement of Absheron district and 1 building in Ramana settlement of Sabunchu district are constructed. Construction of 5 buildings has already started in Sumgait city for refugee and IDP families, and a land plot has been allocated for the construction of other 5 buildings, where construction works will start soon. Moreover, apartments are purchased by the government in completed buildings in both Baku and Sumgait cities for the same purpose.

The project we are presenting today, the modern residential complex we laid the foundation of, is the contribution of the country’s private sector to this noble business. A new residential complex will be created here, in an area of over 6 hectares, and, in general, 11 nine-storied buildings will be constructed for 1026 households. The settlement will have all the infrastructure it needs, with a kindergarten for 220 children and a secondary school for 624 pupils to be built. I am confident, in the near future - in a matter of a year, a new settlement will be created here for peoples’ comfortable residence.

I think it is a very good case that, along with the state, business structures, our entrepreneurs too have shown the right approach to this very important for our country issue - improvement of our fellow citizens’ living conditions, and are ready to provide their support. I am very glad a number of companies have already joined this initiative. I would like to cite them – “Crystal Absheron” provided 5 apartments, “Azercell Telekom” - 2 apartments, “Kontakt Home” network of stores - 1 apartment, “Sadarak” Trade Centre - 1 apartment, “Retro Holding” - 164 apartments, “Askorp” - 1 apartment, “Azinshaat N” - 3 apartments, “Darhal” MTK - 50 apartments, “Khazar” MTK - 2 apartments, “Araz-2011 A” - 3 apartments, “Vesta Construction” - 2 apartments, “Pasha İnshaat” – 1022 apartments in the residential complex we laid the foundation of. I would like to thank the heads of these companies who were not indifferent to the problems of our fellow citizens, and provided their support. I think this is an initiative worth high appreciation, and, taking this opportunity, I would like to invite other companies, other entrepreneurs operating in Azerbaijan to join this initiative and support it. This is, no doubt, continuation of the charitable traditions characteristic of the people of Azerbaijan, and, at the same time, this is the manifestation of our people’s solidarity, and the power and development of our state. A citizen of Azerbaijan underlies all our works. Our objective is to build a strong and developed state and to ensure that every Azerbaijani citizen lives comfortably.

Without a doubt, restoration of the territorial integrity and liberating our lands from occupation is the greatest dream of every Azerbaijani. I believe that the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Daghlyg Garabagh conflict will find its just solution and our fellow citizens will return to their native lands. The state of Azerbaijan will build all necessary infrastructure on the liberated territories, and our towns and settlements will be restored. I stress once more that our dear fellow countrymen will return to their native lands. There should not be any doubt about that.

It is very good that, along with state entities, the private sector and business structures too have joined this initiative. I want to say once more that the state of Azerbaijan has reached great achievements in this sphere. A number of international organizations follow Azerbaijan’s example. Although after regaining our state independence, our country has experienced hard times, we could manage to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in a logical order. Now, our primary objective is to provide 4 thousand families with new apartments, move them from buildings being in emergency situation. I am confident we will achieve it together.

I would like to congratulate each of you on the start of the Holy Ramadan and wish the people of Azerbaijan peace and abundance. Thank you very much.