Skopje, 12 August 2020 (MIA) – Deputy PM for Economic Affairs Mila Carovska, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy Gjonul Bajraktar and ex-Additional Deputy Minister for Labor and Social Policy Sanela Skrijelj took part Tuesday afternoon in an online international conference on “Role of crisis management during a pandemic – intersector solidarity and cooperation” organized by the Serbian Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy.
Participants stressed at the event the need for increased exchange of coronacrisis management experiences in the region, Carovska’s office said in a press release Wednesday.
Crisis management expert Ichak Adizes was the keynote speaker at the conference, aimed to increase cooperation between institutions based in ex-Yugoslav countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, the press release read.
Deputy PM Carovska told the conference that North Macedonia has managed the economic and social crisis brought on by the pandemic well, by implementing a set of measures amounting to EUR 555 million.
Measures, she underlined, were designed in consultation with stakeholders. Moreover, a call center was established to allow citizens and companies find information on decrees, measures and protocols.
“Amid the crisis, the government proved that it takes care of all citizens and leaves no one behind. Our main goal was to save jobs in hardest hit sectors. We managed to help 75,000 workers retain their jobs by granting 120,000 companies Mden 14,500 salary subsidies. They could also apply for zero-interest loans through the Development Bank of North Macedonia. Implementation is now underway for EUR 25 million support for companies who made investments during the crisis,” Carovska noted.
She announced the implementation of another set of measures, financed by the EU.
Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy Gjonul Bajraktar stressed at the conference that all welfare users regularly received financial support during the crisis.
“Besides job protection, another key measure was financial support for people who have lost their jobs or worked in the informal sector. We allowed them to enter the social protection system and secure their right to receive minimum support. Thus, we proved that the system is designed to adjust to citizens’ needs. Help is granted to those who most need it,” Bajraktar said.
Shkrielj told the conference that the most important thing to do in times of crisis is to ensure citizens’ social security, which North Macedonia has done.
“The government established a category of citizens who were exempt from work, such as the chronically ill, children of parents under 10, single parents. Thus, we proved that we care about the youngest members of society by justifying their parents’ absence from work and making sure they still receive full salaries,” Shkrielj noted.