23 February 2010, 20:20

Semyon Rasin: Chechnya needs investments not only into construction

The humanitarian organization International Medical Corpse (IMC) expands the domain of minor business projects in Chechnya. Marking the high level of TB morbidity and other diseases, the activists of the IMC believe that employment of the population will help to combat diseases. This was told by Semyon Rasin, director of the Russian branch of the IMC.

"The unemployment rate in Chechnya reaches 70 percent of the capable population. More or less normal life is concentrated in Grozny and Gudermes, while the agrarian population is absolutely poor and lives only from their primitive agriculture," Mr Rasin told to the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

He said that industry in Chechnya was ruined, and there is no recovery so far. "There are talks about restoration of the cement factory in Duba-Yurt village but it's a drop in the sea. What the IMC tries to do, on its part, is creation of minor businesses, at least some hothouses, mini-shops to manufacture bricks, mini-bakeries or woodworking shops. Only this year, the IMC plans to execute 130 new projects of minor business, most of them in agriculture," said Mr Rasin.

He noted that for 10 years of IMC's work in Chechnya they financed more than 600 minor business projects.

The head of the Russian IMC branch noted that the efforts of NCOs (non-commercial organizations) only cannot radically remedy the situation: for this purpose authorities should get into play.

"Without serious economic investments, and not only into construction, where we see results with out own eyes, no serious progress of Chechnya is possible. Huge investments are needed to revive agriculture and machine-building enterprises. Giving jobs to hundred thousands of jobless people is not an easy mission, to put it mildly," Mr Rasin has concluded.

According to the International Monetary Fund, economic growth in Chechnya will stop in 2010. In 2008 its rate was 6.3 percent, in 2009 - only 0.9 percent. Experts say that the economic crisis has aggravated the already heavy economic situation in Northern Caucasus, boosted unemployment and deteriorated situation with safety.

Under the estimate of the World Bank (Report "Youth in Northern Caucasus", 2006), unemployment among youth in the region is a serious problem: in Chechnya it is now reported as 85 percent of all capable young people, in Dagestan - 86.6, and in Ingushetia - 93.7 percent. Over 40 percent of youngsters are in search of work for more than a year. As Mr Rasin said in his interview to the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent, these figures are obviously true for the beginning of 2010 either.

Let us remind you that according to employment bureaus, as of December 1, 2009, the aggregate unemployment in Chechnya was 45.5 percent; while the Chechen Minister of Finance expressed doubt that this figure reflects the real state of affairs. In his opinion, it should be smaller. However, independent observers believe that the actual count of jobless population in Chechnya is much higher that the official figure.

Author: Anastasia Kirilenko; Source: CK correspondent

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