Charting a new course: Re-thinking the Syrian refugee response


December 16, 2013

This policy paper focuses on the refugee impact within host countries — particularly Jordan and Lebanon, where Mercy Corps implements the majority of our refugee response programs and is currently reaching over 800,000 beneficiaries.

With an eye toward informing discussions among donors, policy makers, and peer agencies, we outline the scope of the challenges facing an effective crisis response, and present field-tested recommendations to improve coordination, and to create efficiencies, sustainability and better prioritization of needs.

The paper also proposes mechanisms for ensuring the needs of crisis-affected populations are better incorporated into the response and for better integrating relief and development efforts.

Recommendations include:

  1. Recalibrate the response strategy to fund and integrate relief and development through: institutionalized joint planning; longer time frames for humanitarian programming; and investments in flexible funding accounts.
  2. Decentralize investments to facilitate local engagement and ownership, improve responsiveness to local needs and integrate programming with pre-existing systems and a long-term resilience-focused lens.
  3. Implement structured accountability mechanisms to give a voice and a vote to refugees and host communities.


PDF icon Rethinking the Syrian Refugee Response_Dec 2013.pdf

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