“The Refugee Crisis in the Middle East and North Africa” is an eye-opening report produced by Friends of Europe. A full copy of the report is available online using the link below.

Refugees are not a new phenomenon in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Jordan has been accepting refugees for nearly 70 years, hosting those who have fled to the country from the Palestinian territories, Iraq, Syria and beyond.

Recent conflicts across the Middle East, including in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, have triggered an additional mass displacement of people, with millions fleeing violence and instability. While the European Union struggles to integrate more than 2.4 million refugees and asylum-seekers who have crossed into its member states’ territories since 2015, states across the MENA region have taken on most of the burden. Jordan, a country of just 9.8 million people, hosts about 2.8 million refugees and asylum-seekers, while nearly 1.5 million are living in Lebanon.

There is an urgent need to put the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ into a broader global context. The international community has to come up with long-term solutions rather than quick-fix responses. The response to the refugee situation in the MENA region may give European states and institutions some food for thought.

This factsheet focuses on the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on countries such as Jordan and Lebanon, seeking to answer the essential questions of how the influx of people has affected these states, as well as how they have risen to the challenge.

The information contained in this publication is by no means exhaustive: it has relied on data from a range of sources, including the European Commission, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Eurostat, the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), broadcaster Al Jazeera, and the Jordan Response Platform. While there may not always be agreement among institutions when it comes to the numbers, the big story remains unchanged: the refugee situation in the MENA region has reached extreme heights.

See the full report online here.

Refugee Crisis in the Middle East

Refugee Crisis in the Middle East


Shada Islam, Director Europe & Geopolitics

Amanda Rohde, Programme Executive