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February 3, 2021

Short and long term COVID-19 support for Syrian refugees


Students during training sessions

SPARK, Islamic Development Bank and Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development support Syrian refugees and host communities in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Right now, refugees and those living in fragile and conflict-affected parts of the world are burdened disproportionately by the health and economic effects of COVID-19. Countries such as Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan face enormous challenges to reduce the poverty faced by Syrian refugees and vulnerable members of their societies in light of an impending economic recession. Plus many people lack access to healthcare facilities, have lost jobs and livelihoods. 

In response, SPARK, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) have been supporting vulnerable youth in multiple ways, including offering a free COVID-19 Survival Guide for Refugee Businesses. Now, building on previous collaborations, we are launching a new COVID-19 support programme called Tadamon, which translates to “solidarity” in Arabic, supports vulnerable people dealing with COVID-19 in the long and short term. 

In the short term, Tadamon supports relief efforts focused on healthcare, such as providing protective equipment, training medical staff and psycho-social support. Yet the programme importantly also addresses the inevitable long term challenges that will affect these communities, namely access to higher education and jobs. Over two years, 1,695 students will be offered higher education vocational scholarships, 843 placed in internships and 85 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will receive important training and financial support. 

Ayed Al Shibli, the founder of a newly-opened Management Skills Centre attended business skills training by SPARK, IsDB and ISFD prior to launching his entrepreneurial project. He described: “For a period of six months we took practical training on the ground. There was a lot of follow up by the trainers giving classes. The project helped me in opening the centre. It launched immediately with no problems or mistakes.” 

The Tadamon programme will allow other young people like Ayed to have sustainable, long-term access to better health, education and employment opportunities, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, for a brighter post-pandemic future.