Syrian Refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon Can Add Value to Local Economies
Dec 13, 2018
Over 5 million Syrian refugees entered Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon due to the civil war. This report examines the labor market for refugees in these countries. In Turkey, a barrier was speaking Turkish; in Jordan and Lebanon, the refugees' arrival exacerbated existing economic slowdowns. Working legally was a challenge for all. Recommendations are tailored to each country in order to improve the socioeconomic environment for all.
Mutually Beneficial Opportunities for Syrians and Host Countries in Middle Eastern Labor Markets
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The Syrian Civil War has displaced 60 percent of the country's population. Six million refugees live in neighboring countries in the Middle East. Such a large refugee influx has been a severe strain to these countries' labor markets, public services, and social cohesion. This RAND report examines the problems of and opportunities for the labor market for displaced Syrians in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon. The authors used multiple methods: interviews with stakeholders, focus groups with Syrian and host country workers, in-depth interviews with firms, and surveys of firms and Syrian households.
The existing skill sets of the Syrians are compared to the needs of each country's labor market; and the steps needed to improve the overall economic climate and strategies for preserving and improving social cohesion of refugees and host communities are examined. Each country has its specific challenges. For example, in Turkey a key barrier for the refugees was the ability to speak the language. In Jordan and Lebanon, the existing economic slowdowns and lack of jobs were exacerbated by the arrival of the refugees. Working legally was a challenge in all countries. The authors conclude with recommendations tailored to each country. Some of these include offering language classes (in the case of Turkey); assessing geographic areas where jobs are needed and enabling migrants to move to these regions; improving each country's worker certification process so that qualified migrants can get jobs within their area of expertise; investing in infrastructure projects and better training courses; and improving the business environment for all.
An Overview of the Situation in Turkey
Focus Groups in Turkey
Survey Results: Turkey
An Overview of the Situation in Jordan
Focus Groups in Jordan
Survey Results: Jordan
An Overview of the Situation in Lebanon
Focus Groups in Lebanon
Survey Results: Lebanon
Lessons from Other Countries
A Synthesis Across the Three Countries
Conclusions and Future Directions
Focus Group Protocols
Details on Focus Group Methodology
Details on Survey and Sampling Methodology and Additional Survey Results
Household Survey Instrument
Firm Survey Instrument
Details on Country Overviews
The research described in this report was funded by the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and conducted by RAND Education and Labor.
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