Response to the earthquake in Syria and Türkiye

ILO visits Aleppo’s damaged neighbourhoods in preparation for emergency employment scheme

With parts of the Syrian city severely hit by the February 6 earthquake that struck Türkiye and Syria, the ILO is preparing to help restore livelihoods in affected communities.

Press release | 16 February 2023
ALEPPO, Syria (ILO News) – ILO Deputy Regional Director for Arab States Peter Rademaker visited damaged neighbourhoods in Aleppo on Wednesday (February 15) as the ILO prepared to implement an emergency employment scheme in the Aleppo region to help restore the livelihoods of people affected by the devastating earthquakes which struck Türkiye and Syria.

The visit provided an initial assessment on ways in which the ILO can work with local and UN partners to implement the emergency employment scheme, which combines efforts to rehabilitate destroyed infrastructures, and provide much-needed income through immediate decent job creation.

This included speaking with members of the communities affected by the earthquake, and meetings with representatives of local trade unions and chambers of commerce and industry, as well as fellow colleagues from the UN, to discuss coordination and support in the recovery efforts.

“The ILO came here today to talk to its partners, including the chamber of commerce and the trade unions, to see how we can support them and their members during the recovery following the earthquakes,” said Rademaker during his visit. “From ILO’s experience in other post-disaster situations, we believe that a job-rich approach that maximises the use of labour and local resources to rehabilitate productive infrastructure can immediately support livelihoods and leave valuable assets,” Rademaker added.

Through its employment-intensive investment (EII) approach, the ILO offers ways to restore the livelihoods of people in affected communities through creating employment to secure immediate income, as well as rehabilitating infrastructure and building individual and community skills and capacity, to stimulate the local economy and generate local multiplier effects.

The approach will embed decent work principles from the onset of the early recovery efforts, placing emphasis on enhancing workers’ skills and employability and improving working conditions, which can pave the way for longer-term decent work promotion.

The ILO, through a team of engineers specialised in employment-intensive infrastructure, will carry out a detailed assessment with local partners on ways to implement such an approach. Based on the assessment, an intervention in the context of the broader UN response will be discussed with the government.