Due to the Syrian war, more than half a million people fled to Jordan, with an estimated 67 per cent residing outside refugee camps. According to UNHCR, a total of 658,756 Syrian refugees are currently (August 2020) registered in Jordan, with the highest percentage of people – around 29 per cent – living in the capital Amman. These registered numbers are far below the Jordanian 2015 Census estimate, of a total of 1.27 million Syrian refugees.
The Government of Jordan, in partnership with the international community, committed to improving the living conditions, prospects and resilience of both Syrian refugees and Jordanian host communities after the Syrian crises through the Jordan Compact (2016).
While considerable progress has been made since the Jordan Compact, accessing higher education and the labour market for Syrian refugees and underprivileged Jordanians continue to be a challenge. Financial barriers, language and skill development, entrepreneurship and home-based business creation, lack of current market research and policy dialogue around the current job market needs, are among the most prominent obstacles, especially with the current COVID-19 pandemic.
In that response, the current EDU-SYRIA call for proposal is designed to alleviate “bottlenecks” in accessing and completing higher education as well as accessing the labour market for the most vulnerable, underprivileged Jordanians and Syrian refugees in Jordan.