Washington, D.C. — With much of the attention focused on the ongoing military conflict in Syria and now Iraq, little attention has been paid to the growing refugee crises these conflicts have produced. The millions of refugees that have fled Syria throughout the four-year civil war have caused significant economic and humanitarian strain for host nations—particularly Lebanon and Jordan. The Center for American Progress has published analysis calling on the international community—specifically wealthier nations in the region—to honor their commitment to provide economic aid to the nations hosting millions of Syrian refugees.
With the conflict in Syria now in its fourth year, nearly 3 million Syrians have been displaced to neighboring Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt. The refugee crisis has depleted space and supplies in hospitals and schools and caused economic hardship in countries already lacking the job opportunities and resources to care for their own citizens. Countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia have promised hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to these nations but have so far only delivered a fraction of that amount.
“The economic and humanitarian situations in Jordan and Lebanon are putting considerable strain on these already struggling countries,” said CAP’s Shiva Pedram, author of the column titled “Syrian Refugee Crisis Threatens Stability in the Middle East.” “Wealthy nations in the region have promised aid but have so far failed to deliver. While spending billions preparing for the World Cup, Qatar—which pledged $100 million in aid—has so far provided slightly less than 3 percent of that. The influx of millions of refugees put these countries at risk for political violence and economic decline, further destabilizing an already unstable region.”