As the civil war in Syria drags on, the scale of displacement continues to increase. While the crisis may be prolonged, refugees and IDPs need support now for their protection, their recovery, and both their immediate and their long-term prospects.
The Syria Regional Response Plan 6 (RRP6) 2014 provides an increased focus on early recovery, social cohesion interventions and a transition from assistance to development-led interventions, alongside the continuing large-scale humanitarian assistance and protection programme.
The most effective way to tackle the Syrian refugee crisis is for neighbouring states to assume a leading role in development spending, infrastructure upgrading and job creation, particularly in the most underdeveloped regions of those countries.
The circumstances for both successful livelihoods programming for refugees and for contributing to the local economy are present in the Kurdish region of Iraq.
Research conducted in Akkar, north Lebanon, suggests that the role played by the host community demonstrates good local capacity which should be built on to encourage further civic engagement and empowerment.
A cadre of educated middle-class Syrian refugees dedicated to improving conditions for Syrians at home and in Lebanon are building a civil society in exile but face obstacles to consolidating their presence and becoming more effective.
Refugees in Lebanon prefer living outside camps, where they can influence their situation.
Having limited legal status has direct negative consequences for Syrian refugees’ access to protection and assistance during their stay in Lebanon. Limited legal status also increases the risks of abuse and exploitation.
Many Syrians, even when they have not been individually singled out, meet the refugee criteria on the grounds of being at risk of persecution because of a perceived association, in the broadest sense, with one of the parties to the conflict.
It is easy to say that people fleeing Syria should stay in camps or satellite cities but people move on for a variety of reasons, and programmes and services must adapt to assist them.
It is important to Jordan both that it protects its national identity and maintains its cultural obligations, and that it faces up to its humanitarian obligations.
Despite the humanitarian community’s clear focus on addressing the protection concerns of displaced Syrians, in Jordan the beneficiaries of many protection programmes have had limited influence on the shape of the protection response to date.
Could re-opening the Golan Heights to Syrians displaced by the conflict be a beneficial option for those fleeing the Syrian conflict and for Israel’s relations with its north-eastern neighbour?
The struggles endured by men who remain inside Syria and the obstacles faced by others who choose to remove themselves from the fighting by fleeing the country demonstrate a need to redefine classic conceptions of vulnerability and to consider civilian men and their needs as part of a solution rather than a problem.
In contexts of displacement it is critical to recognise that some groups in the population may require specific attention. Awareness of these needs has major consequences for the types of services required, and the way they are delivered.
While Syrian nationals may eventually return to their home country, the future for Palestinians from Syria is increasingly uncertain. Meanwhile they are more vulnerable, and treated worse, than most other refugees from the Syrian conflict.
Mental health services can be key to restoring basic psychological functioning and to supporting resilience and positive coping strategies for children, adolescents and adults.
With IDPs currently constituting two-thirds of those uprooted by the conflict, the ‘inside story’ of displacement in Syria requires much greater attention.
The significance of women as both distributors and recipients has been pivotal to the implementation of humanitarian assistance but also points to the burgeoning of a new social dynamic that has come about as a result of the upheaval caused by the war.