AZRAQ REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan – A job center has opened in Jordan's second largest camp for Syrian refugees, the latest sign of an EU-backed policy shift meant to improve life for Syrians in regional host countries.
Dozens of refugees lined up outside a community center in the Azraq camp Sunday to register for jobs, most in factories and on farms. Inside, refugees crowded around tables, waving identity cards for registration as potential employees.
Under the Jordan Compact of 2016, the kingdom promised to provide 200,000 work permits for Syrians within three years, in exchange for several billion dollars in development assistance and reduced tariff barriers on Jordanian exports to Europe.
Officials say that two years later, 90,000 Syrians have obtained work permits and only two companies are exporting goods to Europe under new rules.