UN Agencies and Microsoft Join Hands to Create Jobs for Communities affected by the Syria Crisis

May 23, 2017

Mourad Wahba, Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Chair of the Regional United Nations Development Group (UNDG) while signing the agreement with Microsoft

Amman - United Nations Agencies and Microsoft signed an agreement today to work together to create jobs for communities affected by the Syria Crisis.

Since the onset of crisis in 2011 countries neighboring Syria have seen increasing social and economic strain as  instability has disrupted economic development and as resources have been stretched thin in efforts to meet the growing needs of refugees and vulnerable host communities.

As the official refugee count in countries neighboring Syria surpasses 5 million people, poverty and unemployment is widespread among refugees and the vulnerable communities hosting them. The agreement between UN Agencies and Microsoft is intended to enable greater support to governments in the region seeking to spur job growth to help communities build resilience and regain livelihoods at a time of growing strain.

“The Syria Crisis has taken a tragic toll in death and destruction inside Syria, and has also posed tremendous challenges for development in the neighboring countries that have shown so much solidarity by hosting record numbers of refugees,” said Mourad Wahba, Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Chair of the Regional United Nations Development Group (UNDG). “Across the regional UNDG, we arepleased to join Microsoft in searching for solutions to create jobs and help vulnerable communities live in dignity.”

The  agreement  calls  for  Microsoft  to 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. The goal  of  the consultations is to identify scalable livelihoods initiatives and new solutions to create jobs for communities affected by the Syria crisis as a means of supporting livelihoods and resilience while fostering economic recovery.

“We are pleased to be supporting the implementation of the Jobs Makes the Difference 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,”  said  Ghada Khalifa,  Director,  Microsoft Philanthropies, Middle East and Africa.

The agreement comes in response to a major report authored by UNDP, WFP and ILO outlining prospects for job creation  across  the  sub-region. Entitled Jobs  Make  the  Difference,the  report  offers  a  key  evidence  base  for  the Microsoft-funded consultations as  well  as  discussions  among  UN  Agencies  and  other  stakeholders  towards  the creation of expanded joint programming for job creation in the region.

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

Contact information

In Amman: Noeman Alsayyad, Noeman.alsayyad@undp.org

In New York: Theodore Murphy,theodore.murphy@undp.org

WFP’s regional media contact : Abeer Etefa
abeer.etefa@wfp.org

ILO Regional Office for Arab States: Salwa Kanaana, kanaana@ilo.org