TEHRAN (Iran News) – By the end of the current [Iranian calendar] year (March 2022), the number of villages with no unemployed residents will reach 1,100 across the country.
With the beginning of the national campaign called “Blessed Village”, 1,100 villages of the country will not have any unemployed people by the end of this year.
The Barekat Charity Foundation, affiliated with the Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam, has supported 110,000 community-based job plans in 8,400 deprived villages of the country, creating 330,000 jobs.
A total of 100 trillion rials (nearly $2.3 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials) have so far been allocated to create 330,000 jobs in the deprived villages, IRIB reported on Saturday.
Currently, there are 100 villages in the country with no unemployed people, another 1,000 villages will be added to this number by the end of this year.
The Barekat Foundation aims to create 70,000 community-based job projects in rural areas this year, which will lead to the creation of 210,000 job opportunities.
The number of villages covered by the Foundation’s employment activities will increase to 12,000 by the end of this year.
Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam was founded in 1989. In the Iranian calendar year, 1386 (March 2017-March 2018) Barekat Charity Foundation- the social arm of the organization- with the aim of promoting social justice was established.
Socio-economic empowerment of communities by encouraging entrepreneurship prioritizing breadwinner women, developing infrastructures such as water supply and power grids, building roads, constructing schools and increasing educational spaces, promoting health for all, granting non-repayable loans and insurance especially in less developed areas and regions most affected by 1980s war and natural disasters are of the priorities of the charity foundation.
Rural development budget increases by 2.5 folds
Currently, 26 percent of the country’s population lives in villages, around 39,000 villages have more than 20 households and 23,000 villages have less than 20 households.
Thus, more than 97 percent of the country’s rural population lives in villages with over 20,000 households.
The budget for rural development projects has increased by 2.5 times in the current [Iranian calendar] year (March 2021-March 2022) compared to that of the previous year, Mohammad Reza Shamloo deputy head of the Housing Foundation of Islamic Revolution has announced in July.
A total of 80 trillion rials (nearly $1.9 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials) were allocated this year for the implementation of rural development projects across the country, he added.
The credit will be spent on preparing, reviewing, and implementing the rural plans, improving the rural infrastructure, and the development of the villages, he explained.
Rural-urban migration reverse
In Iran, where villages account for generating 20-23 percent of the value-added in the country, the development of rural areas has been always a top agenda of the governments’ activities.
Many efforts have been made over the past couple of years by the government to support villagers and slow down the trend of migration from rural areas to cities.
Rural tourism, agritourism, religious tourism, and ecotourism are alternatives or complementary economic activities that could further stimulate rural development while decreasing rural community dependency on one main economic sector (agriculture, forestry, energy, or mining).
Mohammad Omid, the vice president for rural development, said in November 2020 that for the first time in the country, the migration of people from rural areas to cities has reached zero.