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Jun 30, 1:49 PM EDT

Jobs program needed for Syrian refugees, UN official says


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AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- The head of the U.N. refugee agency in Jordan has called for jobs programs for Syrian refugees to deal with the fallout from the protracted Syria crisis and dwindling funding for aid programs.

Andrew Harper spoke Tuesday, as the aid agency CARE International released findings showing that refugees in Jordan are slipping deeper into poverty amid cuts in international food and cash assistance.

Harper says that "we can no longer work as we did in the past," and that one solution is to put refugees to work.

Jordan has been reluctant to formalize refugee labor, fearing a rise in unemployment. However, Harper says the Labor Ministry might soon launch a pilot project to allow 2,000 Syrians to work, citing support for such a program among local governments across the kingdom.

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