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The project has created a diversified local economy within the craft area, to train and upgrade the skills of youth to work in the various businesses working in the area.
Lead Authority or Organization: Municipality of Sarhan
Area: Sarhan, Jordan
Beneficiaries: Jordanian and Syrian women and youth, private entrepreneurs, the municipality of Sarhan
Timeline: January 2017 - Ongoing
Human Resources: 10 people to supervise and monitor implementation
Funding Amount: $700,000
Sources of Funding: World Bank (Emergency Services and Social Resilience Project), Kuwait Fund, Sarhan Municipality
The Municipality of Sarhan suffers from a high unemployment rate up to 45% in the local community, especially among youth and women. Moreover, the local economy is weak and relies on the governmental and agricultural sectors. Due to the dependence of the local economy on jobs in the public sector, agriculture and livestock, a main challenge has been the absence of an area for doing business and vocational training center to upgrade labor skills in the sectors of handicraft and light industries (carpentry, blacksmithing, brick and tile making, mechanics and car maintenance, etc.). This issue was exacerbated by the crisis of Syrian refugee flows and the settlement of a large number of refugees due to its position near the Syrian border, the similarity of customs and traditions, and the existence of family ties. The proportion of refugees reached nearly one quarter of the population, with 6,000 refugees—mostly youth, workers, and skilled craftsmen competing with Jordanian citizens on job opportunities. This caused tensions between Sarhan host community and Syrian refugees. This situation prompted the municipality to find ways to create enough job opportunities for all, by encouraging the private sector to invest in the Municipality of Sarhan.
In response to the sharp rise in unemployment and decreasing standards of living, the Municipality established partnerships with private companies and Syrian entrepreneurs to benefit from the presence of skilled Syrian refugees. It created a more diversified local economy that provides enough job opportunities, including for women and youth.
The project went through the following steps:
The project has had a positive impact on inhabitants. It provided a stable source of income to Jordanian and Syrian women through the provision of job opportunities and their economic and social empowerment. According to feedback and comments from beneficiaries given during consultations, the project also helped reduce family dissolution rates. An economic monitoring study also showed that the project injects $70,000 per month in salaries into the local economy, leading to the creation of other economic opportunities and to increasing local business traffic.
Challenges & Risks
Key Ingredients of Success
The creation of the clothing factory was complemented with the establishment of a craft area and vocational training center in partnership with private investors, currently in the final stage of implementation. After a preliminary study, this project will be soon expanded to include sectors other than crafts and industrial trades in the craft area.
This post is part of a series of case-studies published in the CMI 2018 Refugees' Compendium and featuring host communities experiences in hosting refugees with relation to local economic development. The information in-here was provided by focal points in the relevant institutions, NGOs, local governments, etc