UN agencies and Microsoft join hands to create jobs for communities affected by the Syria crisis

May 23, 2017

Mourad Wahba, Director of UNDP's Regional Bureau for Arab States and Chair of the Regional United Nations Development Group while signing the agreement with Microsoft

Amman, Jordan—United Nations agencies and Microsoft today signed an agreement to work together to create jobs for communities affected by the Syria crisis.

Since the start of the conflict more than six years ago, countries neighboring Syria have seen increasing social and economic strain, as instability has disrupted economic development and resources have been stretched thin to meet the growing needs of refugees and vulnerable host communities.

There are now more than five million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries and poverty and unemployment is widespread among both refugee and host communities.

Under the agreement signed today, UN agencies and Microsoft will work together to provide more support to affected governments, to help create jobs and help communities build resilience to cope better with future shocks.

“The Syria crisis has caused death and destruction inside Syria, and has also posed tremendous development challenges in neighboring countries that have shown incredible solidarity by hosting record numbers of refugees,” said Mourad Wahba, Director of the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP’s) Regional Bureau for Arab States and Chair of the Regional United Nations Development Group (UNDG). “The UN agencies involved are pleased to join Microsoft in helping to create jobs and support vulnerable communities to live in dignity.”

Under the agreement, Microsoft will provide $75,000 to fund national consultations on job creation in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, bringing together the private sector, public institutions and UN agencies. Through the consultations, ideas will be identified that could create jobs for communities affected by the Syria crisis, to support livelihoods while fostering sustained economic recovery.

The agreement comes in response to a major report by UNDP, the World Food Programme and the International Labour Organization, ‘Jobs Make the Difference', which outlines prospects for job creation  across  the  sub-region. The report offers a key evidence base for the Microsoft-funded consultations, and other discussions among UN agencies and other stakeholders, about expanding joint programming for job creation in the region.

Director of Microsoft Philanthropies, Middle East and Africa, Ghada Khalifa, said Microsoft was pleased to support the implementation of the report.

"At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person on the planet to achieve more. Finding new ways to support the livelihoods of the underprivileged and vulnerable goes hand-in-hand with this,” Ms Khalifa said.

Information on the consultations will be available at www.jobsmakethedifference.org


Contact information

Amman: Noeman Alsayyad, noeman.alsayyad@undp.org
New York: Theodore Murphy, theodore.murphy@undp.org
WFP regional media: Abeer Etefa, abeer.etefa@wfp.org
ILO regional office for Arab States: Salwa Kanaana, kanaana@ilo.org


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