The growing consensus among the international community is that humanitarian interventions need to have more sustainable elements in order to provide more than temporary relief.
One programme that attempts to deliver both-short term relief and longer-term development impact is the Partnership for Prospects, a scheme for Syrian refugees and host communities across the Middle East, run by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
“We not only provided employment opportunities for more than 67,000 people in 2017; but beyond that, through financing salaries of teachers, we make it possible for 330,000 Syrian children to go to school in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan,” said Silvia Morgenroth, Head of Division dealing with refugees and employment in the Middle East.
For more information about the programme, watch Silvia Morgenroth’s interview:
“Often refugees can’t find official employment, or they are only allowed to work in specific sectors like agriculture, construction or environment,” said Morgenroth. “Employment is limited there, so how can they feed their families? That’s where we come in with cash for work programmes.” These include vocational and on-the-job training, equipping refugees with new skills that could make them better prepared to withstand future shocks.
One of the cash for work projects concerns waste collection and local environment. “In Jordan we have a programme where refugees can collect litter in the street and they get a certain amount of money,” said Morgenroth. “The women are involved in environmental campaigns about waste disposal.
“And at same time,” she continued, “we invest in a recycling centre; we already have two in Jordan, and hopefully there will be six more this year, meaning longer term employment. So you have short term employment, and paid occupation for women, which is very important in that context, and you have longer term recycling centres where people can find work in a sustainable way.”
This article was drafted by Sophie Lewisohn.