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Lessons Learned and Emerging Good Practices of ILO’s Syria Crisis Response in Jordan and Lebanon

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The Syrian refugee crisis represents one of the largest, most protracted and complex humanitarian emergencies of modern times. Since 2011, the Syrian conflict has resulted in an estimated 5.6 million Syrians seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. Some 47 per cent are under 18 years old and 48 per cent are women2 , who live primarily in urban, peri-urban and rural areas, with only 10 per cent living in camps3 . Lebanon and Jordan host the largest numbers of registered refugees per capita in the world. In Lebanon, one in five people is a refugee, while in Jordan it is one in 15. In both countries, nearly 80 per cent of Syrian refugees living outside camps are living below the poverty line4 . Host communities and refugees in Jordan and Lebanon face a myriad of socioeconomic pressures stemming from the refugee crisis, including:

  • competition for lower-skilled jobs between local workers, migrant workers and Syrian refugees, and deteriorating working conditions;

  • a rise in demand for consumer goods and services which exerts upward pressure on prices;

  • a decrease in access and quality of public services, including utilities, infrastructure, healthcare and education;

  • growth in informal employment, increased exploitation and unacceptable forms of work, particularly for women and children – including child labour, child marriage, trafcking and forced labour; and

  • rising social tensions and lower social cohesion among refugee and host communities.