Ten years of the Syrian Crisis, A Relentless Effort to Move Forward 

 July 2021. It has been a decade since the Syrian war started. The crisis has created significant economic damage, notably in terms of poverty and unemployment. For the past ten years, the IECD has empowered Syrian youth through vocational training and support toward professional integration.

By 2017, the Syrian civil war had caused the economy to shrink by over 60% compared to its initial level in 2010.1 The conflict has also cost the country $ 1.2 trillion in the estimate.2 Even in a scenario that war ended today, the economic burden will continue to grow due to the future reconstruction costs. Bearing prolonged damage, the Syrians urgently need support to improve their conditions.

A student of the Technical Support course that trains the beneficiaries to be network technicians.

The IECD has been working to enhance the resilience of the Syrians, especially the youth, in the last ten years. It offers professional training in four youth centers in Sweida, Latakia, Der Al-Zor, and Jaramana (Rural Damascus). The centers have welcomed over 10,000 beneficiaries from all over Syria, many of them from minority groups. With over 20 specialties, the vocational training courses seek to equip young people with technical and soft skills.

Through its BRIDGES program (Building and Reinforcing Integration through Development of Guidance, Employment, and Skills), the IECD aims to cultivate the entrepreneurship spirit among the Syrian youth. The program provides the participants with entrepreneurship training and seed funding. Everyone is encouraged to participate and to formulate solutions for their everyday community problems. 270 young people have received seed funding from the BRIDGES project.

A student of the Air Conditioner Maintenance course.

The IECD is committed to work and collaborate with different actors to further its missions in improving human capital. It has helped Syrian organizations to develop Vocational Training curricula in local schools. The IECD has also provided capacity-building training for local NGOs.

Year after year, the IECD continues to accompany its beneficiaries throughout the journey from learning to securing employment. In the past two years alone, the beneficiaries have found over 500 jobs. Despite the challenges in the field, the IECD persists and continues to work together with its local and international partners to find solutions so everyone could live a decent, prosperous life in Syria.