Important steps have been taken to improve the provision of education and livelihoods in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Donors have performed well in terms of aid disbursed and committed for the current financial year, and some host governments have made significant policy changes.
Much more remains unaccomplished, however. Without technical assistance and further efforts to implement the wide-reaching policy framework agreed in London, there is a risk that the funding disbursed will fail to have a measurable and sustainable impact on people’s lives. Importantly, a continued lack of legal status and documentation means many refugees cannot access work and education. Moreover, the conflict in Syria continues unabated and without a tangible increase in international support for Syria’s neighbours, including by sharing the responsibility for hosting refugees more equitably. Almost 5 million refugees from Syria, including an entire generation of children, currently face an uncertain future. If the international community fails to remain engaged and share responsibility for refugees, the consequences could be disastrous for refugee families and countries in the region.
Fully implementing the ‘new approach’ of the London Conference will require sustained political will, as well as sufficient funding and technical capacity. Neighbouring countries and donors must urgently reaffirm, consolidate and build on the commitments made at the Conference, and place the rights of refugees and the communities that host them at the forefront of the international agenda.