This research project asks the question: How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting Jordanian policies toward Syrian refugees and the likelihood of Syrian refugee return to Syria?
Three researchers in the region are being contracted to conduct research on the impact of COVID-19 on Jordan’s economy and on the host country’s policies toward Syrian refugees. Some of the questions to be included in the study include: what are the possible economic implications of COVID-19 on the Jordanian economy and how is this affecting governmental policies toward Syrian refugees? To what extent is international assistance able to meet costs resulting from the pandemic, both among the refugees and the host country? Will the Jordanian government increase pressure on Syrian refugees to return because of the impact of COVID-19? How are governmental policies toward refugees shaped by the pandemic? How is COVID-19 affecting Syrian refugee livelihoods and intentions to return? How is COVID-19 affecting conditions inside Syria, especially in the areas to which refugees are likely to eventually return?
This project is the first stage in a larger research project entitled: Syrian refugees in Jordan and the region: following up the recommendations of the Council’s Call to Action. The original proposal — for a yearlong action-oriented research program on Syrian refugee return and on specific ways that the WRC recommendations could be used to provide more support to the Jordanian government — remains a valid and urgent issue. However, given the travel and other restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is necessary to postpone this research until the situation becomes clearer.