Resettlement in Karabakh On the Rise

YEREVAN (Armenpress and Noyan Tapan)–The government-affiliated migration and refugee commission said that close to 700 families asked for permanent residency in Nagorno Karabakh between October 2000 and January 1–2002.

The biggest portion–547 families–were urban residents of Armenia. Approximately 310 families were from Yerevan; however people emigrating from Gegharkunik–Lori–and Kotayk provinces constituted the majority of immigran’s.

The department said it helped settle 70 families or 370 people in Nagorno Karabakh in the last two years. Last year–three Armenian families from Syria moved to Karabakh as well.

Karabakh initiated the resettlement program in 1994–however–Armenia began assisting Karabakh in this program in 2000. Travel expenses for up to 250 families a year are covered by the government of Karabakh–and the new residents are granted a wide range of privileges.

The birth-rate in Nagorno Karabakh is rising from year to year as well. The government is doing its best to promote a high birth-rate by passing legislation providing incentives to individuals who are capable of bearing children–like the law "On measures to stimulate birth-rate and large families in Karabakh."

A special fixed deposit for each third and subsequent child is made at branches of the Karabakh National Bank–"Artsakhbank" until the child reaches the age of 18. For every third child the government makes a $700 deposit–$1,000 for each fourth–in some regions $1,500 will be deposited for each fifth child–2,000 for each 6th and 7th child–$2,500 for each 8th and 9th–and $3,000 for each 10th child. There are many other planned incentives to promote the birth rate in Karabakh including improved financial security.

Artur Marutian–the chief doctor of the Stepanakert maternity hospital–says a steady growth of the birth-rate is apparent every year. For example–on January 1–2001 only one child was born in Stepanakert–but on January 1–2002–five children were born. The birth-rate index in the independent republic increased by nearly 300 in 2001 from the year 2000.

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