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article imageState-owned Syria firms in infrastructure hiring spree

By AFP     Aug 3, 2018 in World

State-owned Syrian companies are hiring hundreds of employees in the gas, electricity, and technical infrastructure industries, state media announced Friday, weeks after President Bashar al-Assad said post-war reconstruction was a priority.

The country's seven-year conflict has devastated its economy, but as fighting winds down in many areas, the government and its allies appear to be ramping up efforts to rebuild.

On Friday, Syrian state television announced government-owned companies were looking to take on more than 850 new hires.

They included 97 positions at the Maharda hydroelectric power station, which lies in the country's central Hama province and saw fierce clashes in 2016.

Damacable, which sells electric wires, had 89 new positions open.

The Syrian Gas Company is hiring 175 people in the central province of Homs, as well as Hasakeh in the northeast, and Deir Ezzor in the east.

The biggest hiring spree, according to state television, was for the agriculture directorate in Hasakeh, which was looking for 209 new employees.

The remaining open positions included technicians, medical staff, and agriculture workers in the southern provinces of Sweida and Daraa, where the army recently waged a fierce military assault to oust rebels.

The Ministry of Information is also hiring more than 120 people.

Many of the open positions are in areas recaptured by government troops in recent months, like Daraa, or in provinces where the regime shares control with rival Kurdish forces, including Hasakeh and Deir Ezzor.

Most also included stipulations that half of the positions were reserved for war-wounded or relatives of those killed in the conflict.

Assad last month said reconstruction was his "top priority" in Syria, where more than 350,000 people have been killed and millions have been forced to flee their homes since violence erupted in 2011.

The fighting has ravaged the country's economy and gutted its infrastructure, with water and electricity provision still spotty in many areas.

The Syrian pound has plummeted in value to 435 pounds per US dollar, compared to 48 per dollar before the war.

Last week, regime ally Russia urged world powers to help Syria's economic recovery. But those which have long called for Assad's ouster remain adamant that aid would only come with political transition.

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