Jordan: Livelihood Opportunities for Refugees - February 2019
Discussion on livelihoods and the Right to Work for refugees in Jordan happened frequently after the Jordan Compact which was signed in London in February 2016, at the Syrian Regional Conference hosted by the United Kingdom, Germany, Kuwait, Norway and the United Nations.
On that occasion, which brought together international humanitarian and development actors, the Government of Jordan pledged to make 200,000 job opportunities available to Syrian refugees by 2020, measured by number of work permits issued. The Compact combined humanitarian and development funding through multi-year grants (USD 700 million annually for three years) and concessional loans (USD 1.9 billion).
Accordingly, the Jordanian Government, through the Ministry of Labour (MOL) has issued over 120,000 work permits for Syrian refugees in between 2016 and 2018, in the construction, agricultural, manufacturing and food and processing sectors. Additionally, in November 2018, the Ministry of Labour issued a decision allowing Syrian refugees in Jordan to establish their own home-based businesses, in food processing, tailoring, and handicrafts. UNHCR welcomes this decision as a way to further empower Syrian refugees to earn a living.
The objectives of the Jordan compact have compelled the collaboration of humanitarian and development actors through an inter-sector mechanism commonly known as the Livelihoods Working Group (LWG). The LWG, co-chaired by UNHCR and Danish Refugee Council (DRC), was created to swiftly address policy changes, and any socioeconomic developments within the livelihoods sector. The LWG continues to be a forum for sharing information and trends prevalent within the labour market. Participants include: the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MOPIC), the Ministry of Labour, the International Labour Organization (ILO), GIZ, JICA, Donors (EU and USAID), Microfinance institutes, UN agencies, INGOs, and NGOs.