Enhanced Access to Employment Opportunities and Livelihoods in Jordanian Host Communities within the framework of ILO's response to the Syrian Refugee

One of the key components of the ILO’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis is to enhance employment opportunities and livelihoods in underprivileged host communities.

Since the conflict began in Syria in 2011, Jordan has witnessed a significant influx of refugees seeking shelter in refugee camps and urban areas across the country. It is estimated that there are more than 500,000 registered and unregistered Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Jordan’s Ministry of Labour has highlighted concerns over the increased competition for jobs in the Jordanian labour market brought about by the Syrian crisis.

The UN Country Team in Jordan developed a UN strategic framework and response strategy with the aim to mitigate the impact of the Syrian refugees crisis on Jordanian vulnerable host communities, specifically to ensure equitable and non-discriminatory assistance to vulnerable communities, where quick wins can lead to long-term development gains.

The ILO’s response ‘’Action to eliminate unacceptable forms of work among Syrians refugees and support host communities in Jordan’’, includes the support of host communities as one of its key components as it is crucial to maintain the goodwill and societal functioning of the host communities to ensure the protection space for the refugees.

In cooperation with partners in Irbid and Mafraq Governorates, the ILO has started the implementation of the component ‘Enhancing access to employment opportunities and livelihoods in host communities’, under the framework on the UNDP project ‘Mitigating the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on Jordanian vulnerable host communities'.

The ILO intervention will mainly provide technical support for the design of local economic development initiatives and rapid employment creation interventions. In designing its intervention, the ILO will build on its knowledge and extensive experience in the areas of local economic recovery and development, value chain development, skills development, as well as entrepreneurship development.


To enhance access to employment opportunities and livelihoods in host communities by designing and implementing four intervention areas to promote employment creation:
  • Value chain development in selected sectors in Irbid and Mafraq;
  • enabling environment improvement, including addressing labour market challenges;
  • organisational capacity building for employment services; and
  • local capacity building to support business start-up and expansion.


The ILO will work closely with UNDP to promote employment opportunities and livelihoods for host communities in the Northern governorates of Mafraq and Irbid through:
  • Value chain development:
    • Sensitise local stakeholders about participatory value chain development for decent work, conduct focus group meetings and train facilitators;
    • carry out value chain assessments, define and prioritise interventions for one value chains in each Governorate and prepare implementation matrix; and
    • implement highest priority interventions.
  • Business environment:
    • Sensitise local stakeholders about business environment improvement initiatives;
    • train facilitators and enumerators;
    • carry out survey, compile findings and conduct public-private dialogue forum;
    • prepare local action plans; and
    • implement action plans.
  • Capacity for employment services:
    • consult and reach agreement with main implementing partner;
    • train staff and provision on tools; and
    • set up of basic infrastructure (equipment).
  • Capacity for business advisory services:
    • identify and sensitise key implementing partners; and
    • provide training for business advisors and trainers


  • Sensitise the relevant stakeholders about participatory value chain development for decent work;
  • create an enabling business environment at the local level through conducting business environment survey and organizing public-private dialogue forums for stakeholders to remedy the problems;
  • build local capacity to promote employment services through the coordinated efforts among partners and under the leadership of the Directorate of Labour; and
  • build local capacity to support business start-up and expansion of existing businesses through working with local organisations in Irbid and Mafraq. The ILO can offer training of trainers in Business Management Training and in Women Business Owners Training.
The current support is considered a start-up phase. During this period the project will formulate a medium-term response strategy in the area of local economic development/recovery to support host communities for 2014 and beyond.