Une analyse des enjeux socio-économique des migrations de réfugiés syriens au Liban par Charbel Nahas
the issue must not be dealt with as though after the end of the war, all the Syrians in Lebanon would go back to their country.
He continued, “This misconception contrasts with a scientific analysis of the consequences of civil war, most notably unemployment.” It is the latter, according to Nahas, that is driving Syrians out of their country, “because if the main reason had to do with security, then the refugees would have left to the safe areas within Syria itself, which do exist.”
Since Lebanon has always been a magnet for Syrians, the majority of displaced Syrians went there instead, especially with no political decision in place to regulate or limit their flow, unlike in other neighboring countries. The aid then came, encouraging those who were hesitant to leave to join those who did, bringing with them their families as the aid on offer is proportional to the number of recipients.
We are in a country where an unexpected emergency has taken place, namely, that the labor force has grown abruptly. We need to think about how to channel this disrupted productive energy with a sudden, intensive, and sustained increase in demand and investment in capital
This way, many refugees can cover their living costs in part from aid, and in part from employment, where refugees tend to accept any wage. Nahas said, “This is where the biggest challenge facing Lebanon really lies. With the equivalent of nearly 35 percent of the labor force added to a given country accepting to work for less than the minimum wage, it is inevitable that wages there would decline, which is already happening.”
“The second challenge lies in the increasing rate of immigration among the Lebanese, which means that we are seeing a case of replacement,” he added, before he continued, “If we understand that the future that Syria is going into could turn it into an impoverished country and a reservoir of labor for the countries of the region, then we will understand that we could sink completely. This can become permanent.”