Earthquakes in Syria

ILO signs grant agreements to help workers and employers organizations support their members

The grants were made in parallel to the ILO initiating an emergency employment scheme in Aleppo, to restore livelihoods and rehabilitate destroyed infrastructure.

Press release | 19 March 2023
Damascus, Syria (ILO News) The ILO and its social partners in Syria - the Damascus Chamber of Industry and the General Federation of Trade Unions - have signed grant agreements to support these organizations in their efforts to assist their members that have been affected by last month’s earthquakes.

The grants, modest in nature, will allow ILO’s partners representing workers and business to rehabilitate destroyed premises in the Syrian cities of Lattakia and Aleppo, to support business continuity for affected enterprises and alleviate some of the challenges faced by workers and their families.

The agreements were signed in Damascus by ILO Deputy Regional Director for Arab States Peter Rademaker, President of the General Federation of Trade Unions Jamal Kadri, and Deputy President of the Damascus Chamber of Industry Louay Nahlawi who signed on behalf of President of the Chamber Mohamad Ghazwan Al Masri.

Also in attendance were Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Mohammed Seif El-Din, UNFPA Deputy Representative in Syria Omar Ballan, ILO Country Coordinator for Syria Tomoki Watanabe, and other representatives of the ministry and worker and employer organizations.

“The ILO is working as part of the wider UN response, to restore the livelihoods of people in Syria in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes,” said ILO Deputy Regional Director Rademaker.

“These grants, although modest, are a sign of solidarity with the Syrian organizations that represent workers and enterprises at the ILO. They are part of our efforts with UN partners to assist with the immediate needs, as well as with ongoing and future recovery efforts that support business continuity, job creation and income generating opportunities for people in affected communities,” Rademaker said.

The grants were handed over as the ILO initiates and prepares to implement an emergency employment scheme in Aleppo, using ILO’s employment-intensive approach.

The approach links infrastructure recovery and rehabilitation with high job-content and decent working conditions to contribute much-needed income for people in affected communities. It will start with the removal of debris, repair of water sewage and water network points, as well as rehabilitation of pedestrian walkways, and is expected to expand to the rehabilitation of key social infrastructures.

The approach includes transferring ILO’s know-how on labour-intensive technologies to local engineers, contractors and communities, while mainstreaming from the onset decent working conditions such as through the promotion of Occupational Safety and Health and skills development.