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150 Syrian refugees get into local market through ‘Daleelokom’ project

By Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto - Dec 06,2018 - Last updated at Dec 06,2018

Beneficiaries of the UNHCR-funded ‘Daleelokom’ project pose for a group picture during a ceremony on Wednesday (Picture courtesy of the JRF)

AMMAN — A total of 50 Syrian refugees were recently recruited into new jobs while another 100 were offered grants to launch their own micro-enterprises through the UNHCR-funded “Daleelokom” project.

The “Daleelokom” project was launched earlier this year by the Jordan River Foundation (JRF) and the UNHCR with the aim of economically empowering Syrian refugees and Jordanians across the host communities in Amman and the northern city of Irbid. 

In addition to the direct employment opportunities, more than 400 Syrian and Jordanian participants benefited from trainings, another 614 were referred to employment and training service providers and over 2,000 were supported with awareness and counselling sessions.

As part of the UNHCR’s Alternative Pathways to Cash Assistance programme, the project offered workforce readiness, entrepreneurship trainings and private sector job opportunities through partners such as the Ministry of Labour, private sector companies and NGOs. 

“The launch of my marketing and visual merchandising project has enabled me to enter the workforce confidently, especially after getting to refine my leadership and project management,” project beneficiary Omar Daoud said.  

Commenting on the need for employment solutions to cash assistance, JRF Project Manager Majd Sulaiman told The Jordan Times that “job creation is required not only to link humanitarian assistance to development, but to be an integral source of resilience for refugees”.

Sulaiman pointed out the decline in average wage levels, the decrease in employment opportunities, harsh working conditions, rising child labour rates and the expansion of the informal labour market as major consequences of the Syrian refugee crisis on the local market. 

“However, the Jordan Compact highlighted the potential of the Syrian refugee crisis to become a development opportunity,” the project manager said, explaining that Daleelokom’s objective was built on “existing capacities of refugees and host community members to equip them and expand their economic opportunities”. 

The Jordan Compact, according to relevant literature, was signed by Jordan and the international community in February 2016 to deal with the Syrian refugee crisis, under which Jordan would receive support as it has assumed the burden of hosting around 1.3 million Syrian refugees and carried out “a global public good on behalf of the international community”. Jordan pledged, under the compact, to facilitate Syrians’ access to the labour market in return for aid. 

“The project is part of a sustainable income-generating initiative JRF has embarked on across poverty pockets in Jordan to help improve the social and economic well-being of host communities, which in turn protects these communities against social and economic repercussions, including unemployment, child abuse, crime and violence,” JRF Director General Enaam Barrishi said in a ceremony held to honour the achievements of the joint project. 

“Today, we recognise the efforts of Daleelokom’s partners and their role in empowering local community beneficiaries and Syrian refugees by creating safe and efficient work environments that enable them to secure sustainable livelihoods,” the director said at the event. 

Beneficiaries of the micro-business track will be supported through phone calls, field visits and legal awareness sessions, in addition to assessments of the current status of their initiatives and growth plans for the most successful businesses.

For those recruited into new jobs, the organisation said it would periodically check on their working status and overall conditions, and visits would be conducted at their workplaces to make sure the employment process was going as planned. 

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