COVID-19 Recovery and the Next Stage of the Syrian Refugee Response After Ten Years
Kathryn Achilles, Manager, Durable Solutions Platform (Introductory Remarks)
Sally Abi Khalil, Country Director, Oxfam Lebanon
Zaid Eyadat, Director, Center for Strategic Studies, The University of Jordan
Hassan Jenedie, Executive Director, Bousla Development & Innovation
Camille Le Coz, Policy Analyst, MPI
Andrew Selee, President, MPI
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the economies of countries hosting Syrian refugees, reducing GDP growth, increasing unemployment, and imposing public-health costs. Refugees and host communities face heightened vulnerabilities, especially as the pandemic further limits access to livelihood opportunities and contributes to increased social tensions. While host countries have adopted some measures to mitigate the effects of the health crisis, it remains an open question as to what recovery will actually look like and how refugees could be included into these efforts.
The fifth Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region occurring March 29 and 30 presents a critical opportunity to reassess the funding priorities for the Syrian refugee response. As donor countries deal with pandemic challenges, international assistance has come under further pressure. At the same time, with a new U.S. administration and the closure of the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis at year’s end, major funders are at a crossroad for determining how to support the recovery efforts in Syrian refugee host countries, including the policy priorities and programs to support pathways towards durable solutions.
The convergence of the pandemic and recovery efforts with new conversations about funding offers opportunities to reflect on the Syrian refugee response ten years on, and think critically about how international donors, host governments, and civil society can best address these challenges. How should funding be directed to promote a resilient and refugee-inclusive recovery? What interventions and policies should be prioritized going forward and how can local responses be strengthened? What lessons can be learned from other displacements and from the Syrian experience?
This webinar discusses the findings of a research project conducted by the Durable Solutions Platform (DSP) and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), A Bridge to Firmer Ground: Learning from International Experiences to Support Pathways to Solutions in the Syrian Refugee Context. The final study includes case studies with examples of practices and approaches for supporting the resilience and self-reliance of refugees and host communities from different displacement contexts around the world and highlights how the lessons learned can be applied in the Syrian refugee context.