NYT's S.Hilton, citing the Oxford economist P. Collier
Excerpt from the NYT article by By by Steve Hilton published on 2015-09-10 Link
“The Oxford economist Paul Collier has proposed a plan for “job havens” bordering Syria, using an existing, but empty industrial zone minutes from the largest refugee camp in Jordan, where a future Syrian economy could be incubated, providing both an income and an incentive to stay for millions of displaced people.
The economist Hernando de Soto, backed in part by the United States Agency for International Development, has cataloged the vast untapped value of the informal economy in countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria. If these assets were formalized, people across the region could own property, grow businesses and develop the desire to stay and build stable societies. We should put pressure on their rulers to implement the necessary legal reforms by cutting aid payments until they do it.
The Obama administration led the establishment of the Open Government Partnership, a well-designed effort to promote public sector accountability worldwide. Now let’s give it real teeth: make trade deals and market access contingent on progress toward its goals. We have plenty of leverage if only we’d use it to pursue long-term structural reform.”
(end of excerpt)
Excerpt from the cited above article written by Oxford economist Paul Collier published on 2015-09-02
"Just minutes from the Za’atari camp is an empty industrial zone, fully equipped with infrastructure. This could be a perfect haven of employment, the means by which Europe could incubate Syrian post-conflict recovery. This zone alone is large enough to employ the labour force of Za’atari several times over. The people working there would recover their autonomy, and have a prospect of relocating to Syria when the war is over. The zone could house Syrian businesses that cannot continue to function at home, as well as a cluster of global companies producing for the European market. It could employ both Syrians and Jordanians. Europe could provide the incentives which make this happen. Each job created could attract a subsidy financed out of the money Europe quite rightly earmarks for assistance to fragile states, and their work could be given open access to European markets.
Once peace returns, these businesses could relocate with their returning Syrian workforce, while also continuing to operate in Jordan with their Jordanian workforce. The Jordanian authorities would be supportive because it offers a credible alternative to the permanent settlement which they fear, and would attract global firms to Jordan. The approach could be replicated with Syria’s other neighbours.
Job havens would not only assist refugees; indirectly they would help the five million displaced who remain in Syria. In return for European assistance, the neighbouring governments could be asked to re-open their borders. Accessible and attractive safe havens across the border would be a lifeline for these internally displaced people. As firms and workers relocated to the havens, it would put further financial pressure on Assad."
(end of excerpt)
With UNICEF and Save the Children in Zaatari refugee camp
Having fun with Syrian children in Zaatari camp. Kids must remain kids!