Princeton University Library Catalog

Thinking Long-Term: Assessing Development Strategies to Address the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Lebanon

Rifai, Mia [Browse]
Senior thesis
Kurtzer, Daniel [Browse]
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs [Browse]
Class year:
96 pages
Summary note:
Since the start of Syrian Civil War in April 2011, more than three million Syrians have been forced to flee their country. Over the past four years, more than one million Syrians have sought refuge in the neighboring country of Lebanon. These refugees have put enormous pressure on Lebanon, straining resources and infrastructure and threatening to collapse the country’s delicate social and political balance. As the possibility of these refugees returning home has become increasingly remote, actors within Lebanon’s refugee relief regime have acknowledged the importance of moving towards the implementation of development strategies to address the long-term implications of this refugee population. This thesis endeavors to analyze how the integration of development-oriented responses is being realized, implemented, and confronted by challenges, with the goal of identifying whether Lebanon is creating a paradigm through which it can withstand the crisis and effectively manage the Syrian refugee population. The findings of this thesis argue that while the country has managed to implement and engage in development-oriented initiatives, their success in building an effective long-term response has been limited. Several obstacles, including the social, economic, and security impacts of the crisis, will continue to hinder the effectiveness of these initiatives without further considerations on the part of the refugee relief regime. This thesis offers several recommendations, arguing that in order for long-term development strategies to be successful, actors within Lebanon must continue to strengthen cooperation between development and humanitarian initiatives, as well as shift legal frameworks in order to better attend to the socioeconomic pressures of the refugee population.