Refugees in Jordan: earning an income through Cash for Work

04.10.2016 – In Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, GIZ is helping residents earn some income while also managing waste. It is implementing the project together with Oxfam.

Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in early 2011, many refugees have fled to Jordan, posing numerous challenges to the desert country – including increasingly in the area of waste management. More people means more waste, and many host communities are being pushed to their limits when it comes to keeping streets and public places clean.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is working on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to help these communities collect and sort waste and recycle valuable materials. At the same time, GIZ plans to build recycling plants, thereby creating jobs over the medium term.

GIZ has been working in UNHCR’s Zaatari refugee camp since March 2016, where it is cooperating with Oxfam to help improve the living conditions of Syrian refugees. Most residents have few opportunities to earn money themselves. They risk falling into poverty. This is where GIZ comes in, enabling Syrian refugees to participate in a Cash for Work programme through Oxfam. They gather waste and bring it to a collection point within the camp. There they sort the valuable materials, such as paper or plastic, and sell these to a Jordanian entrepreneur, who recycles them. The money earned is divided among the workers. In this way, the residents of Zaatari help keep public areas in the camp clean and also earn their own income, which they can use to provide for themselves and their families.

The project is part of BMZ’s special initiative Tackling the Root Causes of Displacement – Reintegrating Refugees, which is being implemented in regions with ongoing crises.