Vusal Gasimli, executive director of the Center for Economic Reforms Analysis and Communication, said that Azerbaijan's budget for combating the pandemic is about 3.5 billion AZN, which is 4.3 percent of GDP: "This is quite a large amount, and if we compare this figure with other countries, we can see that Azerbaijan has allocated a large sum of money to fight the coronavirus," he said.
“The Fact Check” examined whether Vusal Gasimli’s claim was true.
It should be noted that the International Monetary Fund estimates that $ 2.5 trillion will be needed to meet the financial needs of developing markets due to the pandemic.
Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population, Sahil Babayev, told the International Labor Organization that more than 3.5 billion AZN has been allocated to reduce the impact of the pandemic on the economy, employment, and entrepreneurship, including 600 million AZN on employment and social welfare.
These funds are:
- Health maintenance of about 15,000 evacuated citizens from abroad in quarantine at the expense of the state budget;
- Mobilization of more than 20 clinics covering different regions for the treatment of coronavirus patients;
- Organization of production of disinfectants and medical masks in the country;
- Allocation of 14.8 million AZN for the construction of 6 new hospitals for the specialized treatment of patients with coronavirus infection, and 97 million AZN for the purchase of medical equipment;
- To improve the provision of microcredit to agricultural producers in the context of the coronavirus pandemic and in the subsequent period;
- Donation of 5 million AZN to the WHO with the support of the Azerbaijani state to fight the pandemic;
- Creation of 50,000 social jobs with a monthly salary of 250 AZN
- Granting two-month lump-sum assistance to 600,000 people in the amount of the subsistence minimum (190 AZN);
- Allocation of funds in order to strengthen the social protection of medical workers, etc.
According to the State Statistical Committee, the GDP in Azerbaijan in 2019 amounted to 81.6 million AZN. If we take into account that a total of 3.5 billion AZN has been allocated to fight the coronavirus, this amount is 4.28 percent of last year's GDP.
In a study conducted by Forbes magazine in May, the comparison of the funds allocated by the world's strongest economies to fight the coronavirus with GDP was reflected.
According to the list, Japan allocated 21.1% of GDP, the United States - 13%, Sweden - 12%, Germany - 10.7%, France - 9.3%, Spain - 7.3%, Italy - 5.7%, United Kingdom - 5%, China - 3.8%, South Korea - 2.2%.
Funds allocated for the fight against coronavirus
|Country||Allocated funds (dollars)||GDP 2019 (dollars)||Share in GDP (%)|
|USA||2,200 trillion||22.20 trillion||9.9|
|China||559 billion||15.47 trillion||3.6|
|Japan||1.16 trillion||5.50 trillion||21|
|Germany||814 billion||4.16 trillion||19.6|
|United Kingdom||350 billion||2.93 trillion||11.9|
|France||387 billion||2.88 trillion||13.4|
|Russia||73 billion||1.67 trillion||4.4|
|Turkey||14.6 billion||809.6 billion||1.8|
|Kazakhstan||10 billion||177.32 billion||5.6|
|Iran||4.6 billion||495.69 billion||0.9|
|Azerbaijan||2 billion||47.43 billion||4.3|
|Georgia||1.145 billion||18.89 billion||6.1|
|Uzbekistan||1 billion||55.48 billion||1.8|
|Armenia||273.5 million||13.87 billion||2|
|Belarus||40 million||63.66 billion||0.6|
As can be seen from the table, Azerbaijan ranks third among the six CIS countries in terms of the share of funds allocated for the fight against coronavirus in GDP, lagging behind only Georgia among neighboring countries, and ninth among 15 countries in the overall list.
“The Fact Check” concludes that Vusal Gasimli’s claim is Mostly False.