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Article

Jordan Tests Ground for Large Jobs Program for Syria Refugees

Original publication date: 4 Mar 2016

A new trade deal with Europe, a rush of foreign investment and public works are to put 200,000 Syrian refugees to work in Jordan in what the international community has described as a radical new approach to tackling the biggest displacement crisis in decades...Still, senior officials acknowledged that it may take several years to reach that target [and] such a slow pace could keep many Syrians in limbo and possibly undercut one of the main aims of the global intervention...

...Under the new pact, Jordan promises to allow up to 200,000 Syrian refugees to work legally, an idea it rejected in the past because of high domestic unemployment.  In exchange, Jordanian products would win easier access to European markets, meant to create new investment and jobs. Jordan would also receive hundreds of millions of dollars in grants and cheap loans for development projects. If successful, the scheme would probably mean replacing some of Jordan's hundreds of thousands of foreign workers, mostly from Egypt or Asia, with Syrians...

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