After three years of civil war in Syria and millions of displaced in the neighbouring countries, the humanitarian community adopted a new response plan that aims to shift from providing pure humanitarian assistance to a more nuanced approach, that is, support the longer term resilience of the refugees and their host community. UNDP and UNHCR have been endorsing and leading this new approach and MERI is currently undertaking a research project to advance and apply the concept of resilient livelihoods for Syrian refugees living in the camps within the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
MERI has been granted funding by UNDP for this research, titled, “Resilience-building for Syrian refugee camps and the neighbouring host community.” The project aims to evaluate the feasibility of transforming the refugee camps in the Kurdistan Region and the neighbouring towns into resilient communities. In essence, this implies putting forward strategies that empower people’s own ability to achieve their livelihood expectations in conflict-affected areas and reducing their dependence on external aid.
The project development is based on the following three pillars:
- Evaluation of the livelihoods baseline and the impact of the crisis for both the host and the refugee communities.
- Understanding the social and political consensus in the Kurdistan Region over a long-term resilience-building approach for Syrian refugees.
- Formulation of recommendations to base a resilient livelihoods programme by project partners and the Kurdistan Region’s policy-makers.
A detailed description of the project context and activities can be found here.