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Employment Intensive Infrastructure

ILO creates decent jobs to support Beirut explosion clearing operations

The International Labour Organization has mobilized its Employment Intensive Infrastructure Programme in Lebanon to clear rubble in the aftermath of the Beirut explosion.

Press release | 14 August 2020
BEIRUT (ILO News) - The International Labour Organization (ILO) has mobilized resources to provide a rapid response to the explosion that devastated parts of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on the 4 August.

More than 100 short-term decent jobs clearing debris and rubble from the streets of Beirut have been created for Lebanese nationals and Syrian refugees, under the ILO’s Employment Intensive Infrastructure Programme (EIIP), funded by Germany through the German Development Bank (KfW).

Some 60 workers have begun operations in the most affected areas of the city. Omar Saidoun, a Lebanese national, is one of them:

“The support most importantly is financial; I was very much in need of this support since I did not have any job before. Other than the financial work, the teamwork that we are experiencing is essential,” he said.

The EIIP team is working closely with the Municipality of Beirut to ensure that support reaches the areas that were hard hit by the explosion. It is coordinating with UN agency working groups, led by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), to ensure that efforts to create a safer Beirut are coherent and support all those affected by the explosion.

“Within days, we have been able to redeploy Lebanese and Syrian workers employed in the programme, to assist with the immediate response to the needs in Beirut, and we hope to scale up this effort in the coming weeks,” said the ILO’s Deputy Regional Director for Arab States, Frank Hagemann.

“The ILO is not a humanitarian agency, but for many years we have worked in the area of resilience, at the nexus of emergency and development. Since the start of the war in neighbouring Syria, we have worked with Syrian refugees and vulnerable host communities, and this effort will continue in the future,” he added.