ILO Response: Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan and Lebanon

© Tabitha Ross/ILO
The Syrian refugee crisis embodies one of the largest and most protracted and complex humanitarian emergencies of modern times. Since 2011, the bulk of refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria have found refuge among host communities in neighbouring states. Among the Arab States hosting Syrian refugees, Jordan and Lebanon already had to contend with difficult socioeconomic conditions before the Syrian crisis, particularly in communities where refugees have now settled.

Host communities in Jordan and Lebanon now face a myriad of socioeconomic pressures stemming from the refugee crisis, including:
  • An increase in labour supply which results in increased employment competition as well as downward pressure on wages, particularly among low-income and low productivity jobs;
  • a rise in market demand which exerts upward pressure on consumer goods;
  • a decrease in access and quality of public services including utilities, infrastructure, healthcare and education.
  • an increase in child labour among refugees and host community residents, including the worst forms of child labour; and
  • rising social tensions and lower social cohesion among refugees and host community residents.

The ILO Response

As the Syrian refugee crisis continues, the evolving nature of the crisis necessitates a response that encompasses humanitarian and development interventions which provide access to livelihoods and decent employment. As part of the wider UN-response to the refugee crisis, the ILO Regional Office for the Arab States has adopted a cross-cutting development-focused strategy in Lebanon and Jordan which supports both refugees and host community residents in order to preserve social and economic stability as well as realise the rights of both to decent work and social justice.

As such, the ILO strategy builds on existing country programmes in both Lebanon and Jordan to implement country-specific interventions that focus on the following areas of response to:
  • Build the resilience of host communities in order to facilitate access to employment and livelihood opportunities;
  • strengthen institutional capacity and coordination mechanisms at local, regional and national levels to combat unacceptable forms of work with a focus on child labour; and
  • support policy development to ensure an employment-rich national response, embedded in the principles of decent work.

What's new

  1. Employment Counselling System in Jordan - Flyer

    14 February 2019

    The ILO has developed a new on-line job counselling system for Jordanian and Syrian job seekers and workers, as well as employers in Jordan to access employment information, job and training opportunities, career guidance and other support to enhance their business and livelihoods. The system is the first of its kind to integrate web, mobile and telephone services under one platform.

  2. Employment Counselling System in Jordan - Brochure

    14 February 2019

    This brochure is a guideline for job seekers, workers and employers on the use of a new employment counselling system launched by the ILO in Jordan. The system is the first of its kind to integrate web, mobile and telephone services under one platform, offering workers improved access to job and training opportunities across multiple sectors.

  3. ILO launches first of its kind employment platform that targets both Syrian refugees and Jordanians

    14 February 2019

    The new service aims to boost job matching and training opportunities for both Jordanian and Syrian workers and job-seekers from across different sectors.