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World Bank releases $300 million for Syrian refugees in Jordan

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WASHINGTON: The World Bank announced Tuesday that it would release $300 million in loans to help facilitate the labour market for Syrian refugees in Jordan.

The funds would be used to attract investors and create reforms that will help grant access to the Syrian labour force, the Bank said in a statement.

More Syrians will receive work permits and be able to “access formal jobs and decent labour conditions,” the statement said.

“By creating the conditions for increased investment and jobs, and by allowing refugees, during their time in the country, to seek work and contribute to the economy, Jordan is shifting from a purely humanitarian approach to a forward-looking development drive,” said Ferid Belhaj, director of the Bank’s Middle East Department.

In creating favourable economic conditions for Syrian refugees in the country, Jordan will help lead the way for the international community in what “still today are unchartered territories,” he said.

Jordan says it currently hosts nearly 1.4 million refugees – with more than 600,000 registered with the United Nations.

Amman regularly complains of a lack of international aid for the refugees it hosts, saying it has “reached its limits.”

In early September, the UN denounced the living conditions of some 70,000 Syrian refugees stranded at the border, where Jordan has blocked their entry and passage of aid after a suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group killed seven of its soldiers in the desert area.

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