“We mourn the tragic death of two-year-old Alan Kurdi, and yet, since then, more than 200 children have subsequently drowned in the Mediterranean. We have international treaties that recognize that refugees are a shared responsibility, and yet we accept that tiny Lebanon hosts more Syrians than the whole of Europe combined... What are we doing? How has the situation come to this, that we've adopted such an inhumane response to a humanitarian crisis?”
Our #MCM is Alexander Betts who, with his colleague, development economist Paul Collier, developed an idea to bring jobs to Syrians while supporting Jordan’s national development strategy at the same time. They proposed integrating the employment of refugees and Jordanians by using an existing economic zone located just 15 minutes away from the Zaatari refugee camp which is home to over 83,000 refugees.
“So what if refugees were able to work there rather than being stuck in camps-- able to support their families and develop skills through vocational training before they go back to Syria?” asked Betts.
The men published the concept in the journal Foreign Affairs and King Abdullah has picked up on the idea. It was announced at the London Syria Conference in February and a pilot will begin this summer.
Creating sustainable ways of living for refugees and displaced people who can contribute so much to their host countries is just one way Alexander Betts is working to help all refugees have a better future.