A Conceptual Framework of Displaced Elderly Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: Challenges and Opportunities

  •  Lama Bazzi    
  •  Zeina Chemali    


In the context of ongoing armed conflicts, efforts to provide humanitarian care are often not sustainable or effective in the long run. Additionally, there is a significant gap between interventions that are theoretically feasible and those that are actually implemented in practice. Building on these foundations and challenged by the limited publications on Syrian refugees, especially the elder population, we explore the understudied connection between the day to day elder refugee experience on one hand and the lack of building resources from within on the other. We take the example of Lebanon, where as many as 4000 Syrian refugees crossed into its territory daily and which now has the highest number of refugees per capita in the world. Lebanon has limited resources and funding and is strained under this socioeconomic burden. Due to this harsh reality, refugees’ simplest needs are largely unmet and they are easy targets for retaliation by local civilians competing for basic resources. Needless to say, elderly refugees suffer most from these inequities and their status is particularly vulnerable. Within this context, and based on ongoing fieldwork, we offer a conceptual framework which calls for effective and sustainable interventions nurturing resilience in elderly refugees and ultimately aiming to help decrease tensions between the host communities and refugees.

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