Syria conference in Brussels

BMZ pledges 800 million euros for more jobs and training for Syrian refugees

Plenary of the international Syria conference "Supporting the future of Syria and the Region" in Brussels

Press release of 05.04.2017 |

To enable more Syrian refugee children to go to school, and to provide more training places for young people and more jobs for adults – that is why Germany's Development Ministry is pledging 800 million euros at an international donor conference in Brussels. These funds are to be used to support Syria and its neighbouring countries in 2017.

Development Minister Müller revealed these plans at the Syria conference, saying: "School attendance, training and jobs – Germany can actively help Syria's neighbours to provide these, for they are the countries that take in the largest numbers of refugees. Our Partnership for Prospects employment programme will have a noticeable impact. With this programme we will help provide a better future for all."

Almost 90 per cent of Syrian refugees stay in one of Syria's neighbouring countries. This is where the German Development Ministry’s programme of assistance comes in. For instance, through its Partnership for Prospects employment programme, which is being implemented in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, it has created more than 60,000 new jobs since the end of last year. The programme has helped people to find employment working as teachers, or building roads and refurbishing housing units, for example. The German support has also helped more than 300,000 children to go to school. And more than 7,000 people have been able to improve their job prospects by attending vocational training and advanced training courses, for example to become craftsmen. 

With the funding earmarked for the current year, Germany intends to provide even more education, vocational qualification and advanced training opportunities. The German Development Ministry also provides support for business start-ups, thus fostering the creation of new jobs. And it supports measures to improve the infrastructure in communities that take in refugees.

Dr Friedrich Kitschelt, who took part in the Syria conference as State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, commented: "This is not the time for symbolic political gestures. Our help is reaching people and making a difference to their lives. With our employment programme we are helping to improve the lives of refugees and people living in affected communities in a palpable and definite way. We are creating job and education opportunities – thereby giving people the prospect of a better future."

The international Syria conference being held in Brussels in early April this year follows on from the Syria conference held in London in February last year, and will focus on "Supporting the future of Syria and the Region". The conference is being organised by the European Union, with the UK, Germany, Norway, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Nations co-chairing the meeting. More than 70 governments, international organisations and non-governmental organisations are taking part in the conference.

Overall, Germany is one of the major donors in response to the crisis in Syria. Since 2012, our country has made available more than 2.8 billion euros in funding for the Syrian crisis. Of that amount, more than 1.3 billion euros have come from the purse of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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