Syrian refugees

ILO’s Ruba Jaradat: We must create decent jobs, not any jobs, for Syrian refugees and host communities

The ILO’s Regional Director for Arab States Ruba Jaradat participated in a high-level panel on jobs and economic opportunities during the Helsinki Conference on Supporting Syrians and the Region from 23-24 January, at which the UN appealed for over $4.6 billion to help Syrians and host communities.

Press release | 23 January 2017
BEIRUT and HELSINKI (ILO News and UN agencies) – The Government of Finland brought together key humanitarian and development stakeholders on 23 and 24 January in Helsinki to discuss the response to the protracted crisis in Syria and neighbouring countries, now into its sixth year.

The ILO Regional Director for Arab States Ruba Jaradat represented the ILO at the Helsinki Conference on Supporting Syrians and the Region, at which the United Nations and partners appealed for $4.63 billion to help people inside Syria, those who fled and the communities hosting them.

Jaradat said it was vital that the response to the crisis includes a development-based approach to enhance access to employment opportunities and livelihoods.

“The international community has realised that a humanitarian response alone is not enough to lift Syrian refugees, as well as communities in refugee-hosting nations, out of situations of fragility and vulnerability,” said Jaradat, who took part in a high-level panel on Vulnerabilities, Jobs and Economic Opportunities on 24 January.

“It is now clear that alongside the humanitarian approach, we must also adopt a development-based approach, which generates job-rich and inclusive economic growth. Refugees and host communities need jobs – not any jobs, but decent jobs that will build their resilience, restore and improve their livelihoods, and guarantee them a productive and meaningful future,” Jaradat continued.

Refugees and host communities need decent jobs that will build their resilience and guarantee them a productive and meaningful future."

Ruba Jaradat, ILO Regional Director for Arab States
The conference focused on key humanitarian priorities inside Syria, where over 13.5 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance; strengthening protection for the more than 4.8 million refugees from Syria now in neighbouring countries; and building resilience inside Syria as well as for the more than 4.4 million vulnerable people in neighbouring countries.

It gathered senior representatives of governments in the region, UN agencies, international financial institutions, donors, representatives of international and national non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.

The conference provided an overview on key humanitarian priorities for Syria in 2017, coordinated by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). It also launched the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan for 2017 and 2018, coordinated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

The ILO response

This video highlights some of the ILO's recent work in supporting Syrian refugees and host communities in Jordan.

In the countries which host the most Syrian refugees globally, the ILO is working in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan to build the resilience of host communities and refuges by enhancing access to employment opportunities and livelihoods. It is strengthening institutional capacities and coordination to eliminate child labour, and supporting policy development to ensure an employment rich national response to the crisis.

By the end of 2017, the ILO’s response to the Syria refugee crisis in these three countries is set to result in 65,000 individuals employed or self-employed (including short-term and long-term employment); 218,000 individuals supported to access employment (through training, internships, job-placement and language courses); and 119,300 individuals supported in social cohesion initiatives (directly or indirectly).