Publication: The Mobility of Displaced Syrians: An Economic and Social Analysis

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The war in Syria, now in its eighth year, continues to take its toll on the Syrian people. More than half of the population of Syria remains displaced; 5.6 million persons are registered as refugees outside of the country and another 6.2 million are displaced within Syria’s borders. The internally displaced persons include 2 million school-age children; of these, less than half attend school. Another 739,000 Syrian children are out of school in the five neighborhood countries that host Syria’s refugees. The loss of human capital is staggering, and it will create permanent hardships for generations of Syrians going forward. Despite the tragic prospects for renewed fighting in certain parts of the country, an overall reduction in armed conflict is possible going forward. However, international experience shows that the absence of fighting is rarely a singular trigger for the return of displaced people. Numerous other factors—including improved security and socioeconomic conditions in origin states, access to property and assets, the availability of key services, and restitution in home areas—play important roles in shaping the scale and composition of the returns. Overall, refugees have their own calculus of return that considers all of these factors and assesses available options. The Mobility of Displaced Syrians: An Economic and Social Analysis sheds light on the “mobility calculus” of Syrian refugees. While dismissing any policies that imply wrongful practices involving forced repatriation, the study analyzes factors that may be considered by refugees in their own decisions to relocate. It provides a conceptual framework, supported by data and analysis, to facilitate an impartial conversation about refugees and their mobility choices. It also explores the diversified policy toolkit that the international community has available—and the most effective ways in which the toolkit can be adapted—to maximize the well-being of refugees, host countries, and the people in Syria.
World Bank. 2020. The Mobility of Displaced Syrians; The Mobility of Displaced Syrians: An Economic and Social Analysis : An Economic and Social Analysis. © Washington, DC: World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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