The Syrian humanitarian disaster: Disparities in perceptions, aspirations, and behaviour in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey

Dawn Chatty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Humanitarian assistance coupled with an unsustainable policy of regional containment have only created greater poverty and misery for Syrians fleeing civil war. How this has been allowed to happen on the southern shores of the Mediterranean - where extraordinary social linkages and networks have existed for centuries - lies mainly in the disparities between perceptions, aspirations and behaviour among refugees, practitioners and policymakers in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. This article highlights in particular three such disconnects: the ahistorical approach to engaging with displaced people in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, which has led to the implementation of international blueprints of humanitarian support that are disconnected from people’s needs; the imposition of an encampment policy at odds with displaced people’s need for temporary settlement enabled through their own social networks; the redundancy of humanitarian practitioners’ background and experience in dealing with the particularities of displaced populations in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the failure to build on practices that work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-34
Number of pages16
JournalIDS Bulletin
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Disasters
  • Middle east

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development

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