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Jobs make the difference: Expanding economic opportunities for Syrian refugees & host communities

The goal of this report is to provide pragmatic, empirically grounded evidence to support efforts by these three key actors—host nations, the international donor community and  the private sector—to achieve this  ambitious political goal of creating 1.1  million new jobs by 2018. This report does not assess the feasibility of creating this many jobs, where these jobs might be created (the London  Conference proceedings themselves are agnostic on this topic), the  relative share of new jobs that might  benefit Syrian refugees vis-à-vis host communities or the number of jobs  created thus far.

Specifically, the intent of this report is instead to identify approaches likely to expand “economic opportunities”—which include entrepreneurship, self- employment and formal employment in firms—for Syrian refugees, IDPs and host communities. The research explores the challenges faced in both accessing and creating economic opportunities, and examines how these challenges might be overcome, drawing on existing successes across  the region.

This analysis focuses on six nations in the region hosting Syrians displaced by the crisis: Egypt; Jordan; Iraq, specifically the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI); Lebanon; Turkey and Syria itself. The five neighbouring nations now host more than 5 million Syrian refugees, and an estimated 6.3 million  IDPs are hosted by communities  throughout Syria.

Though the London Conference did not explicitly include Syria in the aspirational 1.1 million new jobs, supporting access to jobs for Syrians inside Syria is an integral part of a comprehensive approach to fulfilling the London commitments, as expanding opportunities in Syria wherever feasible may mitigate the job creation burden in neighbouring countries…

The London Conference for Supporting Syria
and the Region, held in February 2016, set
an ambitious goal: create 1.1 million jobs for
Syrian refugees and their host communities
by 2018. Neighbouring nations hosting Syrian
refugees—Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and
Turkey—made bold commitments to open
their labour markets and improve the domestic
regulatory environment; the international
community committed to support employment
creation programmes and access to both
concessional financing and external markets;
and representatives from the private sector
committed to providing new investments.

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