Jordan is one of the main destinations for more than 4.9 million Syrians fleeing the civil war. The Kingdom currently hosts over 600,000 Syrian refugees, more than 10% of its pre-crisis population.
Over the last five years, competition for employment opportunities has been particularly fierce in the agricultural sector. Without work permits Syrian refugees enter the informal job sector earning far less than the national minimum wage.
"This massive influx has heavily impacted local economies, as well as people’s livelihoods, especially in places where resources are scarce,” says Noriko Takahashi, UNIDO’s Project Manager.
Host communities are facing inflated prices for basic commodities, goods and services.
“It is necessary to work not only with the families that arrive (from Syria) but also with the communities that receive them,” adds Takahashi.
The UNIDO project, funded by the government of Japan and implemented in 10 different communities, tackles food insecurity by leveraging the agricultural potential of the area known as the food basket of Jordan.
Azraq Women’s cooperative
Samya Abass, 41, has witnessed the crisis first hand. She was born and raised in Azraq, a small town in central-eastern Jordan, now home to almost 20,000 Syrian refugees.