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Housing programmes for vulnerable young people:
According to the Programme for construction and maintenance of apartments owned by the Republic of North Macedonia, the Ministry of Transport and Communications carries out the distribution of social housing for several categories of citizens:
1. Children without parents or parental care - persons over 18 years’ old who until their eighteenth year were taken care of in institutions and other forms of care for orphans.
2. Users of social or permanent financial assistance.
3. Persons affected by natural disasters, regardless of the legal status of their existing (primary) habitats.
4. Persons with disabilities and persons in need of assistance and care from another person and families with disabled persons.
5. Persons belonging to the Roma community are socially endangered (in accordance with the Strategy for the Roma of the Republic of Macedonia)
6. Single parents with minor children and
7. Blind person’s beneficiaries of social or permanent financial assistance
In order to apply for subsidies, the person must meet the following criteria:
- citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia;
- with a permanent place of residence in the municipality where the social housing is built and
- without an apartment in personal ownership, of the spouse and of the adult members of his / her common household on the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia.
Since the beginning of 2016, the Government started with implementation of new project ‘Buy a house’. This project applies to all young people under 35 years of age.
The subsidies refer for а person up to and with the age of 35 years, that is, a married person in which at least one spouse is aged up to or 35 years. Youth up to 35 years of age could get 33.000 euros from the Government for construction or purchase of a new house.
Aiming to support young people to overcome the negative effects imposed on them by the COVID-19 crisis, in June 2020, the Ministry of Finance issued 87 014 “Domestic cards”. These cards were given to young people and could be used for buying domestic goods and obtain services in the amount 3,000 MKD. The cards were entitled for persons aged 16 to 29 years that were active participants in the state formal secondary education and higher undergraduate education, as of May 22, 2020.
Health protection programmes:
At a Government session held in March 2018, the Government adopted a decision on exemption from participation in the use of health services for children under the age of 18, whose families are beneficiaries of the right to social financial assistance.
This program expects to increase the availability of health services and to spare this vulnerable group of additional financial costs in exercising the right to health care. These young people will receive treatment free of charge in all public health institutions, specialist consultative and hospital activities. For the purpose of this program, 20 million MKD have been allocated and it has an estimated coverage of 20,000 people. The responsible institution for its implementation is the Ministry of Health. It is important to mention that this program was initiated by the civic organization "Lil".
Some of the active employment programmes are:
- Youth Guarantee
Youth Guarantee is a Government programme that enlarges the scope and engagement of young unemployed persons on the labor market. The objective of this measure is for young people to stay in the country and work here. Youth Guarantee is open to all young unemployed people up to the age of 29, who have already completed their education and are not registered in the Employment Service Agency. Applicants get quality offers for employment, further education or internship, thus successfully integrating the youth in the labor market and reducing brain-drain from the country.
- Subsidized workplaces for people with disabilities
This measure is foreseen in the Annual Work Programme of the Employment Agency for 2020 (Програма за работа на Агенцијата за вработување на Република Северна Македонија за 2020 година). It’s not particularly intended for youth but they are also on the focus. The aim of this measure is to increase the employment rate and employment opportunities for people with disabilities registered within the Employment Service Agency as unemployed persons.
- Programme for conditional financial support for high school education
The program "Conditional Compensation for Secondary Education" (Програма за условен паричен надоместок за средно образование) aims to improve the access and quality of education, increase the number of students enrolled in secondary education from household’s beneficiaries of social financial assistance, and encourage the implementation of compulsory secondary education in the Republic of North Macedonia. On a long-term basis, the program aims to increase employment and reduce poverty, as well as to create a better workforce.
This program is implemented by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, the Centers for Social Work, the Ministry of Education and Science, secondary schools and the Ministry of Finance, in accordance with the Manual for Administration of the Conditional Compensation for Secondary Education Program.
- Free school books for all students in the primary and high schools
In order to scarce the parents' budget, the Government decided from the school year 2009/2010 to start distributing free textbooks for all students in secondary and elementary education. After the end of the school year, the students have an obligation to return the textbooks.
- Scholarships for students with special needs in the public and private high schools in North Macedonia
The Ministry of Education and Science awards 100 (one hundred) scholarships for students with special needs from public and private secondary schools in the Republic of North Macedonia (Стипендии за ученици со посебни потреби од јавните и приватните средни училишта).
- Scholarships for social support of students in the public and private high schools in North Macedonia
In the school year 2018/2019, the Ministry of Education and Science awarded 400 scholarships for social support to students from public and private secondary schools in the Republic of North Macedonia (Стипендии за социјална поддршка на ученици од јавните и приватните средни училишта). The criteria for awarding these scholarships are: the achieved success, the material condition of the immediate family of the student, the awards won in international / state competitions won during the previous two school years for the students from the first year, i.e. during the previous school year for the students from II, III and IV year and the social position of the immediate family of the student.
- Scholarships for students – children without parents and parental care in the public and private high schools in North Macedonia
The Ministry of Education and Science for the 2018/2019 school year awarded 50 scholarships for pupils - orphans from public and private secondary schools in the Republic of North Macedonia (Стипендии за ученици- деца без родители од јавните и приватните средни училишта). The amount of the scholarship is 2.750,00 MKD per month for nine months during the school year.
- Scholarships for Roma students in the public and private high schools in North Macedonia
The Ministry of Education and Science for the 2018/2019 school year awarded 880 scholarships in five categories for Roma students enrolled in the first, second, third and fourth year of public and private secondary schools in the Republic of North Macedonia (Стипендии во пет категории за ученици Роми запишани во прва, втора, трета и четврта година од јавните и приватните средни училишта).
1) to be regular students enrolled in the first, second, third and fourth year in public and private secondary schools in the Republic of North Macedonia;
2) not to repeat in the previous school year;
3) they are not beneficiaries of scholarships from other institutions / companies or firms;
4) to be members of the Roma community; and
5) to be citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia.
Child and Social Protection programmes:
- Right to social welfare allowance
The right to social financial assistance (социјална парична помош) is intended for a person capable of working and a household (a family of family members and other relatives, among which there is no legal obligation for mutual support, which they jointly contribute, manage and spend). The applicant, i.e. the holder of the right to social financial assistance, is an unemployed person who actively seeks work in accordance with the Law on Employment and Insurance in Case of Unemployment, materially unsecured and which according to other regulations cannot provide means for existence. Materially unsecured is considered a person and a household that generates income on all bases lower than the amount of social financial assistance and which does not own the property and property rights from which it can be supported.
- Permanent financial assistance
The right to permanent financial assistance (право на постојана парична помош) has a person incapable of work and materially unsupported, who cannot provide funds for his / her existence on the basis of other regulations.
Inability to work, in the sense of the Article 58 of the Law on Social Protection (Закон за социјална заштита), is considered a person:
- with moderate, severe and profound mental impediments and a person with combined and other developmental disabilities, which due to the degree of disability cannot acquire education, as well as a person with physical disability, because of which he is incapable of work,
- a person with mental illness and a person with permanent changes in the health condition, because of which he is incapable of work,
- single woman during pregnancy one month before childbirth and single parent in accordance with the Family Law for up to three years of age of the child,
- a child without parents and without parental care that is not protected on the basis of the right to accommodation, which does not have income on the basis of property and property rights, and does not realize funds on the basis of other regulations, but up to the age of 18 years;
- a person older than 65 years.
- Right to financial support of a person which had a status of a child without parents and parental care by the age of 18
Main aim of this measure (Право на финансиска поддршка на лице кое до 18 години имало статус на дете без родители и родителска грижа) is to help the person who until the age of 18 had the status of a child without parents and parental care and who has no income and assets from which he can sustain up to the age of 26 years. The Center for Social Work is the competent body for the implementation of this measure. The amount of financial assistance is: 4.156 MKD for unemployed person and 5.600 MKD for a full-time student.
- Financial support for university studies of a person which had a status of a child without parents and parental care by the age of 18
The right to financial assistance for studies (Право на парична помош за студирање) is provided by persons who have had the status of a child without parents and parental care until the age of 18, provided they are enrolled as full-time or part-time students at public higher education institutions (first and second degrees of studies and doctoral studies). The amount of the financial assistance for studying is 18,000 MKD, or 24,000 MKD, depending on whether the person uses a social apartment for rent.
- Right to financial support for housing of a person which had a status of a child without parents and parental care by the age of 18, or/and after termination of custody, maximum to the age of 26
The right to financial assistance for social housing (Право на социјално домување) is provided to socially endangered persons - not provided with housing. Socially endangered persons are: beneficiaries of permanent financial assistance and a person who, by the age of 18, had the status of a child without parents and without parental care, that is, after the termination of the guardianship, and up to the age of 26.
Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance
- IPA Component IV: Human Resources Development (HRD)
- Priority axis 3: Social Inclusion – Promoting an inclusive labor market
- Responsible authorities: Central Financing and Contracting Department (CFCD) within the Ministry of Finance, represented by the Head of CFCD, acting as Head of the Operating Structure; Relevant departments/ units within the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and the Ministry of Education and Science.
- Target groups: unemployed people particularly young unemployed people lacking working skills; Professionals working with vulnerable groups (both governmental and CSOs)
The Government of the Republic of North Macedonia envisages social transfers on a regular basis. The Budget of the Republic of North Macedonia for 2019 project social transfers in the total amount of 107,679 million MKD (approximately 1,745 million euros). Just for comparison social transfers in 2018 were 100,733 million MKD (approximately 1,636 million Euros).
In 2019, 1.4 billion MKD are planned for financial support in cases of unemployment for unemployed people (including young people) and 1.1 billion MKD for active policies and measures for employment. For comparison, in 2018, 1.237 billion MKD were projected to support unemployed people, while 987,5 million MKD were foreseen for support of active policies and measures for employment.
The Government considers securing appropriate level of social protection of the most vulnerable categories of the population is of crucial importance in achieving sustainable economic development and higher level of social justice. Thus, the 2019 Budget envisages 10,3 billion MKD for these transfers. The amount for the same purpose in the budget for 2018 was 8.001 million MKD, for providing an adequate level of social protection to the most vulnerable strata of the population.
As for many other policies undertaken by the Governmental institutions, there is no public available information about evaluation processes and measurement of the quality of inclusive programmes and policies.