Signing grant agreement between Italian Government and ILO supporting “Towards a more inclusive economy through immediate-job generation and enterprise development for vulnerable refugee and host communities in Jordan”

A new intervention in Jordan will provide employment and livelihood opportunities through labour-intensive approaches and business development support.

Press release | 29 June 2020
H.E. Fabio Cassese, Italian Ambassador to Jordan (L) and Frank Hagemann, Acting Regional Director of the ILO Regional Office for the Arab States (R) at the signing in Amman. © The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation
The Italian Government and the International Labour Organization (ILO) signed a project agreement on Monday (June 29), to enhance economic opportunities for some of Jordan’s most vulnerable workers through immediate short-term job creation and home-based business development support.
The 1 million euro project, which is funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and implemented by the ILO, will target hundreds of Syrian refugees and Jordanians with a focus on vulnerable communities, women and persons with disabilities.

The project builds on wider efforts by the ILO to promote economic growth and decent job creation for refugees and members of their host community, through its Program of Support to the Jordan Compact.

“We are very pleased to be signing this agreement today,” said Frank Hagemann, Acting Regional Director of the ILO Regional Office for the Arab States, during a signing ceremony at the Italian Embassy in Amman. “The generous contribution of the Italian Cooperation could not be more timely as many workers in the country struggle to earn a living due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped the labour market. Through this project, we will expand our program of work in Jordan to provide more income opportunities and decent work for members of both communities, ensuring access to the labour market is more inclusive to all workers.”

“Italy and the ILO have a longstanding partnership” - said H.E. Fabio Cassese, Italian Ambassador to Jordan. “With this agreement, we intend to contribute to the Government of Jordan’s efforts for building a more inclusive and accessible labour market for vulnerable refugees and Jordanian men, women and people with disabilities, especially in such a complex period, when the impact of COVID-19 is likely to spill over into an economy already severely challenged by a ten-year protracted crisis”.

Under the project, the ILO’s Employment Intensive Investment Program (EIIP) will be used to generate short-term job opportunities, build the resilience of members of both communities and improve local infrastructure. The project will identify interventions in water, sanitation and health (WASH) sector that contribute to job creation as part of measures to respond to the COVID-19
crisis. It will also utilize a network of employment centers, set up across the Kingdom by the ILO and the Ministry of Labour, to ensure workers have access to longer-term employment opportunities.

At the same time, the initiative will support Jordanian and Syrian women entrepreneurs to establish or expand businesses through training and seed-funding. Work will mostly focus on female-led small and home-based businesses to support interventions under EIIP. It will build on the ILO’s Women Do Business Program, the first enterprise training developed specifically for women in Arab States.

“Through this project we want to promote the economic empowerment and economic participation as key factors not only to support the resilience of the most vulnerable among the refugees and hosting communities” - added Michele Morana, Head of AICS Office in Amman – “but also to foster a more inclusive and sustainable economic development of Jordan”.

The project is aligned with the ILO’s Decent Work Country Program (DWCP) 2018-2022, which provides a framework of priority support areas between the ILO, government, and workers’ and employers’ organizations that focus on creating jobs and promoting decent work. It also contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, namely Goal 5 on gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls; Goal 8 on promoting sustainable economic growth and decent work; and Goal 10 on reducing inequalities.