Germany proposes short-term jobs for 500K Syrians

BAQAA REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan -- Germany proposes creating up to 500,000 short-term jobs to help Syrian refugees survive in overburdened Middle Eastern host countries, the minister for economic co-operation said during a visit to Jordan on Tuesday.

See Full Article

Germany will raise the idea at next week's annual Syria aid conference in London, Gerd Mueller told The Associated Press.

"It's called cash for work, to employ Syrian refugees, but also unemployed Jordanians ... in building schools, infrastructure," Mueller said, adding that participants would be paid about 300 euros ($325) a month.

Germany would initially contribute 200 million euros ($217 million), with money to start flowing in mid-2016, and would ask other donors to contribute, according to a handout from his delegation.

"This program ... can create 500,000 jobs in the whole region with 2 billion" euros, Mueller said in Jordan's Baqaa refugee camp, established almost half a century ago for Palestinian refugees, but now housing thousands of displaced Syrians.

Almost 4.3 million Syrians have fled civil war since 2011 and most remain in the region, mainly in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Some 1.2 million are registered in Lebanon and about 630,000 in Jordan, most living outside formal refugee camps.

Over the past year, cuts in food and cash support for refugees -- a result of severe aid shortfalls -- helped trigger an exodus from the region to Europe. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have reached Europe, many heading to Germany, because the cuts made life in host countries increasingly difficult.

Thousands more Syrians are still trying to escape fighting in their homeland. This includes some 17,000 people, among them many women and children, who have amassed on the border with Jordan, waiting to be allowed to enter. Some have been living for months in the remote desert area without proper shelter, amid warnings by aid groups that conditions are deteriorating.

Jordan has only let in several dozen Syrians a day, citing concerns that Islamic State extremists will try to enter Jordan posing as refugees.

International aid officials have urged Jordan to speed up such checks and move refugees to an UN-run camp in Jordan that stands more than half empty.

Mueller said he asked Jordan's prime minister to "examine urgently if he can make an exception and to house these Syrian refugees in the UN camp."

At the London conference, labour rights for Syrian refugees in the regional host countries will be a key issue.

Jordan and Lebanon, faced with high domestic unemployment, prevent most refugees from working legally, though many hold low-paying informal jobs.

Jordanian officials, while short on specifics, have said they would offer a new approach in London, including setting up special economic zones to encourage foreign investment and potentially create thousands of jobs, including for Syrian refugees. Goods made there would have easier access to European markets.

Mueller said he supports the idea.

"Jordan needs investments, jobs, an outlook for the future of the country, for its own population and for the Syrian refugees," the minister said.

In London, Germany will advocate for "preferential trade arrangements, custom arrangements and tax privileges for investments in Jordan," he said.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Manchester death toll rises after suicide bomber at Ariana Grande concert kills 22 [Photos] [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    MANCHESTER, England — An apparent suicide bomber attacked an Ariana Grande concert as it ended Monday night, killing 22 people among a panicked crowd of young concertgoers, some still wearing the star’s trademark kitten ears and holding pink balloons as they fled. Source
  • Donald Trump: ‘Evil losers’ carried out deadly terrorist attack on Manchester concert goers

    World News Toronto Sun
    BETHLEHEM - President Donald Trump on Tuesday condemned the “evil losers” responsible for a deadly attack on concert-goers in England and called on leaders in the Middle East in particular to help root out violence. “The terrorists and extremists and those who give them aid and comfort must be driven out from our society forever,” Trump said in Bethlehem alongside Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Source
  • British PM Theresa May calls Manchester concert bombing an act of 'appalling, sickening cowardice'

    World News Toronto Sun
    LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May says the attack on a concert venue in Manchester Monday night “stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice” Authorities say 22 people were killed and almost 60 wounded when an explosion went off at the end of a concert by American pop star Ariana Grande in the northern England city. Source
  • A look at recent major attacks in Europe

    World News CTV News
    Children among the victims of the Manchester Arena blast: police Latest: Social media users help hunt for missing people in Manchester Source
  • Not-quite freedom: After harrowing crossing, migrants forced into waiting game in Italy's detention camps

    World News CBC News
    When Favour Osaheroumwea, 21, fled her home in Nigeria last summer, she had dreams of becoming a nurse in Europe. She knew the journey would be tough. What she did not expect, after surviving it, was to end up in a bleak prison on a side road near Rome's main airport, waiting to hear if she could stay in Italy. Source
  • Trump meets the Pope: 5 things to watch for

    World News CBC News
    It's not the White House, the penthouse suite of Trump Tower or the Mar-a-Lago estate, but the 15th-century Apostolic Palace that serves as the Vatican's crux of Catholic power projects a grandeur that Donald Trump should appreciate when he arrives there on Tuesday. Source
  • Fundraising for Nunavut greenhouse draws cash, encouragement and advice

    Canada News CTV News
    QIKIQTARJUAQ, Nunavut - A teacher in Nunavut who turned to crowdfunding for a modest greenhouse to grow vegetables with his students is revising his plans after Canadians responded with a bumper crop of donations. Adam Malcolm originally asked for $4,500 on GoFundMe for a greenhouse about the size of a garden shed to grow fresh produce in Qikiqtarjuaq, but following news reports about his project last month, more than four times that amount has been pledged. Source
  • Ariana Grande concert ends in bloodshed, horror

    World News CTV News
    MANCHESTER, England -- A highly anticipated night for Ariana Grande fans ended in blood and terror after an explosion tore through the foyer of the Manchester Arena. At least 19 concertgoers were killed and about 50 others were injured Monday night. Source
  • Man crawls 274 metres to safety, 4 days after falling off cliff

    World News CTV News
    ELYRIA, Ohio - Firefighters in Ohio say a man who fell from a cliff and spent four days in a ravine was rescued after he crawled 274 metres to a country club, despite having broken both his legs and arms. Source
  • Yemen raid kills 7 al-Qaeda militants, U.S. military says

    World News CBC News
    Seven militants were killed during an intelligence-gathering raid by U.S. Special Forces troops against an al-Qaeda compound in Yemen on Tuesday morning, U.S. officials said. U.S. Central Command said in a statement the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants were killed "through a combination of small-arms fire and precision airstrikes" in the Marib governorate, with the support of the Yemeni government. Source