In part, the World Bank’s response to the Syrian crisis has been to shore-up public services in countries affected by it, like Lebanon and Jordan, which together host more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees.
Though as a development agency, the World Bank Group hasn’t been directly involved with Syria since the start of the uprising there in the spring of 2011, its assistance to Lebanon and Jordan is focused on shoring up services and institutions but has a humanitarian impact. Bank programs are designed to help local communities endure the hardships they too face as a result of the crisis.
“Resilience is the focus of the work we’re doing, trying to make sure local services and local people in countries neighboring Syria aren’t overwhelmed by the numbers of refugees arriving on their doorstep,” said Inger Andersen, the Bank’s Regional Vice-President for the Middle East and North Africa region.
These programs are also designed to ensure Lebanon and Jordan are able to continue receiving and caring for the ongoing stream of refugees.
At a meeting hosted by France’s President Francoise Hollande in Paris this month, Andersen said the Bank had established a Multi-Donor Trust Fund to support Lebanon, and that so far both Norway and France had agreed to contribute.