Japan announces $1 million for ITC work in areas affected by conflict and support to WTO accession
The Government of Japan has announced that it will provide $1 million in support for International Trade Centre (ITC) projects in the State of Palestine, Sudan and the Syrian Arab Republic, where ITC has been working to improve social and economic stability.
In Syria, funding will be dedicated to internally displaced women and will help them improve the quality of their handicrafts to increase their economic opportunities. There is an urgent need for initiatives that can support internally displaced women in improving their economic resilience by equipping them with the necessary skills and market access to achieve long-term sustainable economic activity.
The project in Syria will reinforce basic capabilities in design and create market linkages for producers of artisanal products and traditional Syrian goods. The project aims to strengthen the humanitarian and development nexus by providing targeted assistance to internally displaced women to protect their dignity and improve their livelihoods through economic empowerment.
In Palestine, funding will be used to improve employment opportunities for refugees and youth in Gaza in information technology and the IT-enabled service sector. The project focuses on internet-enabled employment in information and communication technology, as investing in this sector will boost the Gazan economy in a complicated political context. By contributing to inclusive growth, the project can have a positive spill over effect to promote peace and stability. This will bridge the gap between humanitarian and development assistance on the ground.
In Sudan, funding will help ITC support the government in its effort to accede to the World Trade Organization. Sudan is making genuine efforts to re-launch its bid for membership of the WTO in the coming years and it is politically engaged in the accession process. The drive for this political will, beyond Sudan’s need to integrate the multilateral trading system, comes from its desire to lift the sanctions that hold back investors and impede Sudan’s businesses to connect to global value chains.
‘I thank the government of Japan for this continued partnership with ITC which will support a series of interventions to help refugees and displaced persons strengthen their skills and connect these skills to markets,’ said ITC Executive Director, Arancha González. She also commended Japan for its support to the accession of Sudan to the World Trade Organization by recognizing that ‘Japan’s funding will allow ITC to work with policymakers and the business community in Sudan to prepare for WTO accession and develop a roadmap to benefit from its participation in the multilateral trading system.’.