Enhancing Disaster Preparedness: Chapter 11 - Informality versus short-term regularization of the Syrian refugees' situation in Lebanon

Elsevier, Enhancing Disaster Preparedness, From Humanitarian Architecture to Community Resilience, 2021, Pages 209-222
Faten Kikano

In response to the influx of Syrian refugees since 2011, Lebanon has adopted an open-border and non-encampment policy. Simultaneously, the Government has excluded refugees from formal systems. Consequently, the country is now hosting around 1.5 million refugees, most of whom are illegal residents, a situation with significant drawbacks. This chapter aims at proposing a change of policy regarding the management of legal, socioeconomic, and urban aspects of this refugee crisis. Data was collected between 2015 and 2017 through focus-group discussions with refugees and Lebanese citizens, as well as semistructured interviews with humanitarian-aid workers and officials from the Lebanese Government. The chapter makes two recommendations: first, using humanitarian funds to upgrade the country's infrastructure and service systems; and second, temporarily integrating Syrian refugees into established legal, economic, and urban national systems.