Social Cohesion: An overview of refugee-host community dynamics in the context of the 3RP – Syrian Arab Republic

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Introduction

Since the arrival of large numbers of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries, social cohesion is a key issue in many countries, as 95% of Syrian refugees in the region live alongside host communities in urban areas. 1 With several worsening crises in the region, social cohesion and social stability between refugees and host community members have been threatened by the rising cost of living and pressure on resources and basic services. These tensions are further exacerbated by misperceptions, frustrations and higher levels of stress in refugee and host communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, social cohesion has become an increasingly important priority for the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) – a combined humanitarian and development plan active in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and in Egypt to help countries cope with the massive influx of refugees. refugee populations because of the Syrian crisis.

Given its growing importance, the 3RP Joint Secretariat commissioned policy research on social cohesion in 3RP countries, including both a stocktaking paper and a policy brief on social cohesion. The purpose of this mapping document is to: 1) provide 3RP partners with an analysis of the current social cohesion environment in 3RP countries with respect to host community-refugee relations and efforts made by 3RP partners to address or mitigate related needs; 2) make recommendations on how to strengthen social cohesion efforts; and 3) provide a basis for knowledge sharing among 3RP countries to facilitate dissemination of lessons learned and good practices. The Social Cohesion Guidance Note provides guidance to 3RP coordination staff and partners on how to include do no harm and mainstreaming considerations in the 3RP response from a social cohesion perspective .

The first section of the document provides the basis for understanding social cohesion in the context of the 3RP; the second section examines social cohesion considerations and responses in each of the 3RP countries; and the third section provides recommendations on how social cohesion approaches can be strengthened in selected countries. The paper is based on a selected literature review of recent reports and documents dealing with social cohesion in the 3RP, as well as interviews and focus group discussions with 50 key informants (KIs)3 from 3RP countries.

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