Supporting a war-ravaged economy
In Hassakeh Governorate, in north-eastern Syria, Unicef has entered into a partnership with a local group, the Al Birr Association, to produce 15,000 clothing kits for children up to the age of 14.
The Al Birr Association was established in 2003 with a goal to provide social services and create employment opportunities. It currently employs 225 women, most of them displaced from other parts of Syria due to the conflict. For many of the women, the salary they are paid is their only source of income.
“We value this new collaboration with Unicef, as it helps us create employment opportunities and market the products locally,” says Ghazawa, mother and plant production manager.
Mervet is a single mother with two children. She has been working at the Al Birr Association’s clothing production plant for 18 months now. “I like my job because it helped me to acquire skills and earn money,” she said. “This is the only source of income I have to support my family.”
Fellow worker and mother, Najah, was forced to flee her home with her family due to the conflict. “We left our home empty-handed, we lost everything,” said Najah. “Last winter was harsh, and the hardest one. We left our home and we were in a bad financial situation. I could not provide warm clothes to my children. This job is good to me. It pays the rent.”
The local partnership supports the economy and is cost-efficient. “Sourcing the clothing locally is faster and more cost effective,” says Eltayeb Adam, from the Unicef office in Qamihsli. “Savings on transportation and warehousing ensure a cost reduction along with timely delivery of the kits by eliminating several layers of the supply chain.”