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Factsheet June 17, 2020

Questions and Answers: The Fallout of War: The Regional Consequences of the Conflict in Syria

The Fallout of War: The Regional Consequences of the Conflict in Syria identifies the impact of the Syrian conflict on economic and social outcomes in Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon. It combines a large number of data sources, statistical approaches, and a suite of economic models the isolate the specific impact of the Syrian conflict among numerous global and regional factors that contributed to the economic and regional trends in the last decade.

1. What is the objective of this report? 

This report aims to provide a systematic account of the economic and social impact of the Syrian conflict in Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon in the last decade. This serves three purposes. First, and most important, developing effective policies to mitigate the adverse effects of the conflict requires an explicit recognition of the mechanisms through which such effects are manifested. Second, when such mechanisms are well defined, more public support can be amassed for nuanced and well-targeted mitigation programs. Third, and finally, potential reversals in specific channels can be used to project future outcomes more accurately, which in turn can help design better policies.

2. Who is this report written for?

This report is written for anyone who is concerned about the wellbeing of the people in the Mashreq Region.   

3. Why doesn’t the report address the social and economic impact of the conflict on the Syrian economy and the Syrian people?

This report is part of a broader series titled “Syria Analytical Roadmap”.  The first World bank report in this series, The Toll of War (2017), analyzed the economic and social impact of the conflict inside Syria and documented the magnitude of devastation and losses suffered by Syrians. The second report in the series, The Mobility of Displaced Syrians (2019), analyzed the conditions faced by Syrians inside and outside Syria, with a special focus on how those conditions could shape the spontaneous return of people. The current report, the third in the series, builds on the methodologies and findings of the previous two report to analyze the regional implications of the Syrian conflict.

4. This report does not analyze the impact of the Syrian conflict on other countries. Why?

The consequences of the Syrian conflict reached far beyond Syria’s immediate neighbors in the Mashreq Region. However, with data limitations, an in-depth assessment of the impact on a broader set of countries was not feasible.

5. This report does not analyze the political, cultural and security related impact of the Syrian conflict. Why?

We analyze several dimensions of the impact, but with varying degrees of causal inference. For the GDP impact, we can infer some counterfactual series by using statistical procedures. For a limited number of issues, like poverty and fiscal, we use these counterfactual GDP estimations to analyze the likely effects of the Syrian conflict. In cases where a subnational heterogeneity can be exploited—such as for labor market analysis in Iraq and Jordan and environmental analysis in all three countries—we map outcome indicators onto refugee intensity to consider correlations. For others, where neither of these approaches is feasible, we discuss trends and parallelism with the conflict even if it is not possible to establish causality. This approach is based on a simple concern: to avoid reaching a conclusion that mistakes the absence of evidence for the evidence of absence (that is, data-poor issues are not relevant). With data limitations, some of the most important aspects (such as political outcomes) are not possible to quantify.