Tag Archives: Réfugiés

EuroMed report: Repatriation of Refugees from Arab Conflicts

The new EuroMed Report is now available

Repatriation of Refugees from Arab Conflicts : Conditions, Costs and Scenarios for Reconstruction [1]

The report is available for download here.  

 

This report discusses the issue of repatriation of refugees in impacted countries of the South Med region.

Through its four chapters, the authors start by looking into the characteristics of these refugees and the conditions affecting their decisions to return.

This overview is followed by an analysis of the possible political settlement scenarios and reconstructions’ potentials, with a focus on the possible role of the international community.

The authors then analyse the economic costs of conflicts as well as post-conflict growth scenarios.

The report concludes by highlighting the main findings and providing policy insights into how to address this issue to ensure a safe, sustainable and dignified return of refugees to their home countries.

 

 

Contributors 

 

Dr. Ibrahim Elbadawi, President of FEMISE and Managing Director of ERF

Dr. Samir Makidisi, Institute of Financial Economics, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

Dr. Semih Tumen, Associate Professor of Economics at TED University, Turkey

Dr. Belal Fallah, Director of research at Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute-MAS, Palestine

Dr. Roger Albinyana, Director of Mediterranean Regional Policies and Human Development, IEMED, Spain

Dr. Maryse Louis, General Manager, FEMISE

Ms. Jala Emad Youssef, AUC, Egypt

 

The Euromed Report is an annual publication of FEMISE that is addressing themes of importance and interest to the EU-Med region. The report brings value-added to the themes it covers through in-depth analysis by economists from the North and the South of the Mediterranean, using a multidisciplinary approach. This brings a common view from the two shores of the Mediterranean and provides policy recommendations that can make a contribution to the South Med countries during their transition.

[1] This report and its launch event received financial support from the European Union through the FEMISE project on “Support to Economic Research, studies and dialogues of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”. Any views expressed in this seminar are the sole responsibility of the authors and the speakers.

Social Entrepreneurs’ Responses to the Refugee Crisis in Jordan and Lebanon (report FEM44-12)

30Following the outbreak of the civil war in Syria in 2011, an estimated 1.5 million and 1.3 million Syrian refugees sought a safe haven in Lebanon and Jordan respectively (Reuters, 2017; Ghazal, 2017). Considering that the population of Jordan is just under 10 million, and that of Lebanon – under 7 million (World Bank, 2018), this sudden and unexpected flow of refugees resulted in severe disruption, stretching the absorptive capacities of the two countries well beyond their limits, and necessitating massive relief efforts for refugees and host communities alike. In their efforts to manage the situation, the authorities in both countries have been supported by international community and civil society. Increasingly, private sector has been stepping in as well (Berfond et al., 2019). Among many institutions and individuals aiming to alleviate the situation, an increasing number of less traditional actors – social entrepreneurs – could be also observed.

Against this background, the main of this exploratory study was to explore the ways in which social entrepreneurs in Jordan and Lebanon have been helping to alleviate the refugee crisis in both countries. In our conceptualization of social enterprises (SEs), we followed an approach by Cerritelli et al. (2016), and instead of adopting a single definition of social entrepreneurship, understood SEs as entities possessing the following characteristics: i) primarily focus on the creation of social value rather than a purely economic one, ii) being financially sustainable or aiming at achieving that goal, and iii) self-identifying as a social enterprise. This approach was more inclusive of different types of socially entrepreneurial initiatives, additionally allowing for any differences that may occur between SEs based in the western countries and MENA region (as suggested, e.g. by Tauber, upcoming).

Our main finding, developed based on extensive literature review and stakeholder consultations (29 interviews with SEs and support organizations, a focus group, and a panel discussion during a workshop), is that although social entrepreneurs overcome numerous obstacles in order to achieve their goals, assessment of the real impact of their actions is not possible due lack of social impact measurement mechanisms in place. Judging their success is also impeded by the fact that the majority of the SEs examined is relatively young, being predominantly established within the past five years.

At the same time, we found that the anecdotal evidence does suggest that refugees in both countries benefit from the actions of social enterprises in a number of ways. Most notably, SEs are a source of employment opportunities, helping refugees to start new careers or resume the ones they had back in their home countries. The opportunities offered are especially valuable for female refugees, struggling to manage family-related responsibilities with work-life and facing various constraints of socio-cultural nature. SEs are uniquely positioned to assist with the labour market integration of the refuges as – unlike purely profit-oriented private companies – they can accommodate for their specific needs, focusing on the social impact of their work rather than just profit maximization (e.g. by providing free childcare for their female employees). Moreover, unlike non-profits, they can create sustainable jobs that do not (entirely) depend on donor funding. Unfortunately, ultimately the degree to which the SEs succeed in their work to large degree depends on the labour market policies of their respective governments. The issue of granting work permits to the refugees is incredibly sensitive in Jordan and Lebanon, both struggling with high unemployment rates among the native population. Recently, especially the latter has been introducing measures that may prove extremely difficult to overcome for the SEs wishing to integrate the refugees to the local labour markets.

Another group of the SEs has been focusing on providing goods and services that would facilitate the everyday existence of the refugees (and other segments of the population): from providing innovative educational solutions, through developing sanitary provisions, to designing functional temporary shelters. They, too, have however been adversely affected by existing regulatory frameworks.

Overall, the SEs face various challenges related to bureaucracy and inadequate legislation, such as high taxes, complicated customs procedures, red tape, or overregulation. Importantly, lack of legal recognition of a social enterprise as a legal entity is a major impediment, forcing social entrepreneurs to choose between registering as i) for-profits and therefore forfeiting any tax deductions, opportunity to receive (tax-exempted) grants and donations, and other benefits that non-profit organizations benefit from, or i) non-profits, limiting their opportunity to generate income. Equally worryingly, the complexities of the existing legislation do not seem to be well understood by SEs and support organizations (SOs) alike.

Another major obstacle identified by the vast majority of interviewees was securing funding to develop and grow. With bank loans and microcredits were out of scope or out of the question, most of the SEs turned to grants – and personal savings – even if finding an investor was the preferable way of going forward.

Finally, lack of adequate assistance on behalf of the support organizations was an additional factor adversely affecting the SEs, who complained that incubation and acceleration schemes available were not tailored enough and imposed unnecessary constraints on their daily operations. While some SOs did acknowledge this problem, many saw social entrepreneurs as cavalier and unwilling to learn.

The social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Jordan and Lebanon, especially its segment working with refugees, is still relatively undeveloped, unstructured, and unorganized. However, it is quite clear that the potential to have a positive impact on the livelihood of refugees residing in both countries is real. While social entrepreneurship alone by no means the answer to the refugee crisis, in a conducive legislative environment it may become an important actor – especially thanks to the new technologies that allow the SEs to scale up their activities and potentially maximize their impacts.

FEMISE MedBRIEF 24: “The economic impact of migrants and refugees on Europe”

Jamal Bouoiyour, Amal Miftah and Refk Selmi

The FEMISE Policy Brief series MED BRIEF aspires to provide Forward Thinking for the EuroMediterranean region.The briefs contain succinct, policy-oriented analysis of relevant EuroMed issues, presenting the views of FEMISE researchers and collaborators to policy-makers.

 

The MED BRIEF “The economic impact of migrants and refugees on Europe”, is available here.

Summary: 

This policy brief presents some preliminary findings of a recent research regarding the economic impact of legal immigration in terms of growth and unemployment in a large panel of European countries. It sheds some light on a useful and interesting question for policy debate by explicitly distinguishing refugee and economic category immigrants. Our research reveals a non-negative effect of immigration on per capita growth and on employment. The results allow to consider particular implications for the collaboration of EU countries on the immigration issue and seek to inform more specific and actionable public policy interventions.

 

The list of FEMISE MED BRIEFS is available here.

The policy brief has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union within the context of the FEMISE program. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the authors and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union

FEMISE MedBRIEF 27: “Social Entrepreneurship to Alleviate Refugee Crisis in Jordan and Lebanon”

Katarzyna Sidlo

The FEMISE Policy Brief series MED BRIEF aspires to provide Forward Thinking for the EuroMediterranean region.The briefs contain succinct, policy-oriented analysis of relevant EuroMed issues, presenting the views of FEMISE researchers and collaborators to policy-makers.

The FEMISE MED Brief “Potential of Social Entrepreneurship to Alleviate Refugee Crisis in Jordan and Lebanon” is available here.

 

 

Summary

In the face of an ongoing refugee crisis in Syria, the private sector has been increasingly involved in the quest to alleviate the situation. The present policy brief discusses the potential of one particular group of businesspeople, social entrepreneurs, to help relieve the situation of hundreds of thousands displaced persons who found refuge in Jordan and Lebanon.

The list of FEMISE MED BRIEFS is available here.

The policy brief has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union within the context of the FEMISE program. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the authors and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union

FEMISE MedBRIEF 20: “The Long-Term Impact of Syrian Refugees on Turkish Economy”

Pr. Ramon Mahia (UAM, Spain) and Pr. Ali Koc (Akdeniz University, Turkey)

The FEMISE Policy Brief series MED BRIEF aspires to provide Forward Thinking for the EuroMediterranean region. The briefs contain succinct, policy-oriented analysis of relevant EuroMed issues, presenting the views of FEMISE researchers and collaborators to policy-makers.

The MED BRIEF “The Long-Term Impact of Syrian Refugees on Turkish Economy”, is available here.

 

 

 

Summary

Results for 2017 (short term impact)
• The total value-added impact generated by the occupations of Syrian refugees in the Turkish economy was an estimated 27.2 billion TL at the end of 2017, representing 1.96% of total Turkish GDP.
• Production effect is estimated at 1.51% of GDP for 2017. This impact supposes an increase in production of 30.59 billion TL across different sectors, generating 20.9 billion TL of value added.
• Induced demand effect accounts for the rest of global impact, for 0.45% of GDP in 2017. This induced demand effect implies new production estimated at around 11.7 billion TL, generating 6.2 billion TL in value added. This induced demand effect is essentially produced by direct consumption and investment of Syrian population; the direct effect is estimated at 0.3% of GDP for 2017.
• All in all, native employment induced by Syrian economic integration (from both production and demand effects) was an estimated 132,454 persons in 2017.
• The direct impact of Syrian economic integration is spread unevenly across different sectors, reflecting the greater or lesser presence of Syrian workers in the production effect and specific consumption and investment patterns.
• Details provided by the simulation schema support the idea that enhancing employment opportunities for refugees by improving their education and skills, promoting entrepreneurial capacity and providing work permits in well-targeted sectors will further increase refugees’ contribution to economic growth.

The list of FEMISE MED BRIEFS is available here.

The policy brief has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union within the context of the FEMISE program. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the authors and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union

The Long-Term Impact of Syrian Refugees on Turkish Economy (FEM43-05 report)

An input–output approach (IO) is used to estimate the economic contribution of Syrian refugees linked to (1) their access to Turkish labour market and (2) the new investment generated by Syrians’ capital through saving within the country. By using this methodological approach, we are explicitly considering the intersectoral linkages of the Turkish economy, enabling us to expand the focus of a classic impact study.

Results for 2017 (short term impact)
The total value-added impact generated by the occupations of Syrian refugees in the Turkish economy was an estimated 27.2 billion TL at the end of 2017, representing 1.96% of total Turkish GDP.
Production effect is estimated at 1.51% of GDP for 2017. This impact supposes an increase in production of 30.59 billion TL across different sectors, generating 20.9 billion TL of value added.
• Induced demand effect accounts for the rest of global impact, for 0.45% of GDP in 2017. This induced demand effect implies new production estimated at around 11.7 billion TL, generating 6.2 billion TL in value added. This induced demand effect is essentially produced by direct consumption and investment of Syrian population; the direct effect is estimated at 0.3% of GDP for 2017.
• All in all, native employment induced by Syrian economic integration (from both production and demand effects) was an estimated 132,454 persons in 2017.
• The direct impact of Syrian economic integration is spread unevenly across different sectors, reflecting the greater or lesser presence of Syrian workers in the production effect and specific consumption and investment patterns.
• Details provided by the simulation schema support the idea that enhancing employment opportunities for refugees by improving their education and skills, promoting entrepreneurial capacity and providing work permits in well-targeted sectors will further increase refugees’ contribution to economic growth.

Refugees and hosting countries : integration models and cooperation policy options

In both European and Jordan perspectives, it is crucial to prepare instruments able to capture the ongoing changes and to identify the relevant targets, as well as to monitor the rapidly growing segment of the migrants that has been integrating into the local economic fabric. Italian policy oriented research will soon be facing the need of exploring a new context where a greater share of migrant population will be made up with refugees with a smaller resource assets both in terms of funding sources, social and family networks and safety nets. In this perspective, the mutual contamination of research and political experimentation in distant contexts, 9l1which in many respects start sharing similar concerns, must be cultivated and strengthened. The experience launched in Jordan that addresses the issue of economic integration of refugees is an important basis for the development of specific policies. The small contribution represented by the present study can, in this perspective, provide insights and trace some paths for a desirable deepening of the research.

Effects of Syrian Refugees on Labor Markets of Host Middle Eastern and European Countries

This research seeks to contribute to the assessment of refugees impact within labor markets and differing countries’ economies.

The country review and the empirical results lead us to four main policy recommendations.

As for the majority of countries no connection between the Syrian refugees’ inflow and unemployment or wages has been found, first, we recommend strengthening the existing trend of removing refugee-specific barriers in the labor market.

In addition, in countries with high minimum wage, temporary exceptions should be permitted in order to promote the employment of refugees.

Another important recommendation is to provide temporary migration opportunities in line with the labor market needs and address shortage of workers in some occupations, such as agriculture. A further investigation is needed based on each country’s needs.

Our last policy recommendation is to offer targeted temporary work opportunities and programs, as some European countries are already doing, both to local population that might be affected by the integration of refugees, and to the refugees themselves.

Pierre Vimont “Each European State must participate in the effort to welcome refugees in an equitable manner”

Consultant at Carnegie Europe and French Ambassador to the European Union, Pierre Vimont was the organizer of the Valletta Summit on Migration in November 2015. This specialist in European Neighborhood Policy, Transatlantic Relations and french Foreign Policy participated in the Femise annual conference on the 29th and 30th of April 2017 in Casablanca. About a hundred Mediterranean experts delivered their analyzes on the theme of “Migration and Refugees Crisis in the EU-Med: Dawn of an era of shared responsibility? “.

Pierre Vimont est un expert de la politique européenne de voisinage, des relations transatlantiques et de la politique étrangère. ©N.B.C

Pierre Vimont is an expert in European Neighborhood Policy, Transatlantic Relations and french Foreign Policy ©NBC

Since 2010 Arab states are undergoing an unprecedented crisis. What is the state of play?

These crises gave rise to hope in both Arab and European countries. But after a while, some countries faced economic difficulties. Hope gave its place to disenchantement in Syria, Libya and Yemen. There is a real difficulty in defining the needed actions to help these countries achieve political stability, security and economic prosperity.

Immigration of refugees has fragmented the European territory. Is this issue not a danger to Europe?

The management of the refugees crisis creates a profound division within Member States. However, we must never lose hope with Europe. Solidarity, loyal cooperation among all partners, is key to the problem. Italy and Greece, given their geographical position, are making much more efforts to welcome immigrants and grant them the right to asylum. In 2016, 770,000 people benefited from the right to asylum. There are too many disparities between states. Everyone must participate in the effort to welcome refugees in an equitable manner. Nearly 450,000 reside in Germany, while France only counts 35,000.

How is France positioned?

Pierre Vimont lors de la conférence annuelle du Femise, les 29 et 30 avril 2017 à Casablanca. ©NBC

Pierre Vimont at the Femise annual conference, April 29-30 in Casablanca. ©NBC

The French effort in the field of asylum right remains much lower than in Germany. This country replenishes a demographic deficit that generates unfilled jobs. France is trying to improve its asylum system, making it more efficient for decisions to be made more rapidly. The deadlines for granting asylum are currently around one year but should be reduced by half. The french public opinion remains very reserved with regard to refugees and economic emigrants. The French authorities are quite cautious on this issue. Many believe that immigrants generate unfair competition. However, they occupy jobs that the French refuse to perform such as the collection of household garbage in large cities or the employment of seasonal workers in the agricultural field.

How can we avoid any risk of amalgation between terrorist attacks and the rise of Islamism?

Political leaders, intellectuals and elites must be pedagogical. They must explain the migratory phenomena to avoid any risk of amalgamation. To do this, one must have the courage to speak and explain the reality of what is happening on the ground. Political refugees are not illegal immigrants attracted by unscrupulous employers. They are persecuted citizens in their countries, with no alternative but to flee.


The reports of the Plenary Sessions of the FEMISE 2017 Annual conference are available by clicking here.

Interview undertaken by in partnership with Econostrum at teh FEMISE Annual Conference of 2017- Photo by Nathalie Bureau du Colombier.

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