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Supporting Refugee Inclusion for Common Welfare in Host Countries

Status: Active
  • Countries Targeted

    • Middle East, Turkey, North Africa, Europe




    Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), Agence Française du Développement (AFD), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Medcities, UN Group, International Organization for Migration (IOM), International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), United Cities Local Governments – Middle East West Asia (UCLG MEWA), World Bank Group.




    Syria’s neighboring countries are facing an unprecedented and protracted refugee crisis with spillover effects in Europe. There are some 5.2 million (September 2017) registered Syrian refugees in the Mashreq and North African countries, while a significant number (970,316) has applied for asylum in Europe.


    This high refugee influx is a burden for host countries, especially for Syria’s neighbors. Since a refugee influx causes a sudden rise in population, host countries’ service delivery capacities have often been overwhelmed and therefore less efficient. A lack of social cohesion between host and refugee communities can lead to tensions, fostering negative feelings of locals toward refugees.  With the ongoing influx of Syrian refugees, host countries are considering them as medium-term guests and discussing the need to work towards their social and economic inclusion.


    Program Objective


    Increasing awareness on potential refugee contribution to the welfare of host countries.


    Selected Outcomes


    • High level discussion for a “reinvigorated international response to support Mashreq countries hosting Syrian refugees in their development agenda”:

      The event “From Resilience to Development: a High Level Stakeholder Conference on the Syrian Refugee Crisis” (Marseille, September 2015) initiated a discussion on international financial support that could be provided to Syria’s neighbors countries in their response to the refugee crisis. It was important milestone in the process of rethinking policies and mobilizing international support for the region in order to respond to long term development challenges, and was the first of a series of high level events that led to the pledges made by the international community in the London conference (February 2016). The event addressed the issue of access to concessional financing for the middle-income countries currently hosting refugees, and changes needed in country policies.

    • Evidence-based discussion contributed to develop consensus on possible development solutions to maintain the welfare of Syrian refugees:

      CMI disseminated in partnership with the AFD the first joint WB-UNHCR study on “The Welfare of Syrian Refugees: Evidence from Jordan and Lebanon”. The Ministers of Labor in charge in Jordan and Lebanon participated in the launch, together with more than 100 participants and speakers from various MENA and European host countries, as well as other development and financing partners, practitioners and technical experts. The common welfare of refugees in the mid- to long-term and innovative solutions that are essential to attain it were discussed, contributing to the progressive emergence of a regional response in addressing the common welfare of refugees and host communities.

    • Learning Workshop: “Strengthening Human Resources for Health: Integration of Refugees into Host Community Health Systems”:

      CMI organized, in cooperation with OECD and World Bank, a two-days’ workshop designed for governments, organizations, and stakeholders who are affected and have experience, knowledge, and expertise in health issues to discuss challenges and opportunities for strengthening the numbers and competencies of refugee health professionals in host countries to better address prevailing local health needs. Participants included Syrian refugee and host community health professionals; MENA and OECD governments; academia including deans of training centers and medical schools; donors; and associations and global medical education partnerships such as the Global Platform for Syrian Students.


    • Stocktaking on policies and practices on refugee integration in European and MENA countries:

      This internal stocktaking aims at comparing Southern and Northern Mediterranean countries’ policies for the socio-economic integration of refugees. It aims at providing a comparative overview on refugee integration policies in Europe and the Middle East based on new recent data, evidence-based information, and research; identifying good practices and lessons learned on refugee inclusion; and preparing a synthesis about key findings of the comparative study.


    Expected Outcomes


    Disseminating and mainstreaming knowledge: build consensus on refugees’ contribution to the welfare of host countries to support their medium term economic inclusion.


    Analysis and strategies: develop, strengthen and enhance evidence-based knowledge on forced displacement.