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"A push for education and livelihoods for refugees in Jordan"

It’s been almost four years since Syrian refugees fleeing conflict started congregating in Zaatari, Jordan, today home to the world’s second largest refugee camp.

Now with 80,000 residents, the emergency response phase is over, Hovig Etyemezian, UNHCR senior field coordinator and camp manager, told Devex. His agency’s focus now is on creating sustainable change and looking toward to the future...

..."...there’s the issue of livelihoods and work permits. [United Nations Secretary-General] Ban Ki-moon was just here, as well as the head of World Bank, and the discussion was and is: how do we expand Jordan’s economy so that Jordanians and Syrian refugees can [both] benefit. We’re at the start of this discussion and it will take time until everyone is clear as to how the regulatory framework will work, how the refugees are going to be working, and what format we’re going to use, but there’s a positive momentum...

...we need to open up opportunities for livelihoods for adults to work, and you can’t do that without expanding Jordan’s economy. This means investing in bigger agricultural projects so you can make use of more of the land and use new technologies to maximize the uses of water and increase production. Then there are factories and industrial zones, and people are talking about duty free schemes in which companies are encouraged to come and open factories to produce in Jordan. We need to create more jobs, some that Jordanians can take and some the Syrians can take. Short of that, Jordan has a limited number of jobs that it can offer and you already have unemployment for Jordanians, let alone the Syrians..."

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