“Twenty percent of our population is made up of Syrian refugees,” Jordan’s Planning Minister Imad Fakhoury tells me in this edition of the CGD Podcast. His estimate is twice the official count from UN agencies, and is based on his country’s last census. “There are villages and towns in the north and the center where the number of Syrians is higher than the number of Jordanian citizens living there, so it makes it very difficult to maintain social cohesion.“
Jordan’s response has been to innovate, through piloting a more integrated approach to refugee response called a compact—an agreement between host and donor governments and humanitarian and development actors. Compacts acknowledge that traditional short-term approaches to humanitarian crises—for example, refugee camps and emergency hand-outs—are no longer appropriate when 65 million people have been forcibly displaced, and the average duration a refugee stays away from home is ten years.
As we mark World Refugee Day, it is increasingly clear that there is a desperate need to fill the gap between short-term humanitarian response and long-term development need. CGD senior policy fellow Cindy Huang, along with IRC’s Nazanin Ash, are authors of a joint report between the two organizations that looks at how compacts of the type pioneered in Jordon, and in Lebanon, can be used more widely to address this gap.
Minister Fakhoury and Cindy Huang join me for this podcast. Click below to hear some results from Jordan’s refugee compact experiment.