The World Bank and Lebanon: Hand-in-hand to Boost Employment Opportunities

The World Bank Group (WB) approved a new $400M project on June 27, 2018 which promises to create around 64,000 job opportunities in the market, of which 81% would be “permanent” jobs while the rest are “temporary” (short term) jobs.

Since the 2011 Syrian Crisis, Lebanon’s economic growth weakened, which in turn limited its job-creation capacity. The influx of Syrian refugees into the country further strained the Lebanese labour market, namely jeopardizing the integration and well-being of vulnerable groups. Against this backdrop, the WB’s latest project entitled, “Creating Economic Opportunities in Support of the Lebanon National Jobs Program” targets specifically young men and women in the country. The new initiative advocates “inclusive growth that benefits everyone [through] the creation of a favorable business environment for the private sector to grow, create jobs, and invest in Lebanon’s rich human capital […]” as Saroj Kumar Jha, the WB’s regional director for the Mashreq explains.

It is crucial to highlight that the project aims to create jobs for Lebanese as well as temporary jobs for Syrian refugees, albeit abiding by Lebanon’s existing laws on the employment of Syrian refugees.  The plan also promises to particularly expand economic opportunities in the disadvantaged regions across Lebanon.

Moreover, Haneen Sayed, World Bank Program Leader for Human Development and Co-Team Leader of the project emphasizes that, “[t]his program, which also includes skills development and other market entry support for Lebanese job seekers, is expected to double the number of permanent jobs created per year for Lebanese youth and women compared to the number of jobs created annually prior to the Syrian conflict.”

Source: World Bank, June 2018.


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