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Lebanon: Work restrictions on Syrian refugees increase unemployment and hardship

Syrian exiles in Lebanon seek a refuge in work, 22 November 2016

Syrian exiles in Lebanese camps are offered vocational training — but no jobs… Abu Abed, head of one of the [Bekaa Valley] camps, says just over half the men of working age in his camp have found work, and then only irregularly and for low wages. “They get some seasonal work — agriculture, construction. But stable, regular work? The kind of thing you need to make a life? There’s nothing like that.”… of the 4.4m Syrians who have fled into neighbouring Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, many hundreds of thousands have struggled to secure even basic incomes…

In Lebanon, nearly two dozen organisations offer vocational training programmes to Syrian refugees, from large international NGOs to community-based local groups…The reality, however, is that such programmes, while often transformative for those who receive them, are far too small and scattered... Recent ILO analysis puts unemployment rates among Syrian refugees at over 60 per cent in Jordan and 36 per cent in Lebanon … the Lebanese government has also put heavy employment restrictions on Syrians. Technically, Syrians are only allowed to work in three sectors — agriculture, construction and cleaning.

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