Contributions of the New Azerbaijan Party to the fight against COVID-19: political stance and practical actions
Azerbaijan is among the countries that gave an early response to the global challenge caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak. The government’s decisive steps in the fight against the pandemic, in conjunction with the recommendations of the World Health Organization, have received great support from the private sector and civil society.
The country’s leading political organization, the New Azerbaijan Party (YAP), has been also taking an active participation in this struggle. YAP has organized various activities and campaigns, in accordance with the policies and the Action Plan of the government, to fight the pandemic and its negative social and economic effects.
By the initiative of party employees, the New Azerbaijan Party has transferred 500,000 manats (about 300,000 US dollars) to the Coronavirus Response Fund that was established by the presidential Decree on March 19. The party’s action came as part of a large volunteer movement in Azerbaijan, involving many legal entities and individuals, initially inspired by President Ilham Aliyev’s and First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva’s decisions to transfer their annual salaries to the Fund.
In parallel with strengthening public awareness on the pandemic on social networks, YAP held the “Our Health is in Our National Solidarity” campaign during March 21-29. In this period, around a thousand party activists and volunteers across the country visited more than 4,000 families and lonely and elderly people to distribute medical alcohol, face masks, gloves and other medical and hygienic products. They also held educational talks with citizens and stressed the importance of protecting their health in accordance with the rules and recommendations set by the Task Force under the Cabinet of Ministers.
Since March 27, the YAP and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection have started a joint campaign considering vulnerable conditions and addressing needs of lonely persons over 65 years old who have been banned to leave their homes under the current quarantine rules. Party volunteers together with social workers visit the homes of elderly citizens, deliver them humanitarian aid and provide them with social services.
On April 14, the New Azerbaijan Party launched a four-day campaign to provide food assistance to more than 500 low-income families in need of care and social protection.
Thanks to the measures taken by the government and the atmosphere of national solidarity, it has been possible to keep the epidemiological situation under control and the number of COVID-19 cases at a relatively low level (1,373 confirmed cases so far).
The New Azerbaijan Party also supports Azerbaijan’s political position on joining international efforts to combat the global outbreak and its socio-economic results. During March 30 – April 3, YAP took part at an online conference on role of political parties in fight against the COVID-19, co-organized by the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) and shared its own experience on this issue.
The New Azerbaijan Party will further continue its support to government policies on fighting the outbreak and eliminating its negative effects that will be shaped by the level of the pandemic in the world, the situation in Azerbaijan and the recommendations of the WHO.
Baku, April 20, 2020.