Household remittances have served as a vital lifeline for Syrian households since the onset of the conflict a decade ago, alongside humanitarian aid, amidst the exacerbating levels of poverty, soaring food prices, and the severe devaluation of the Syrian pound (SYP) that has resulted from the country’s protracted decade-long conflict, sanctions and other mitigating factors. In recent years, remittances transferred into the country have exceeded total levels of registered domestic wages and salaries, and now sit at an estimated USD 8.5 billion per year. In spite of this, remittance transfers to the country have been hindered through several political-, economic-, legislative- and security-related changes in recent years.
Remittances are not just vitally important for building community resilience and sustaining local livelihoods in war torn countries but can also, as is evident by recent research in post conflict countries in Africa and Asia, be later leveraged in the post-conflict phase for recovery and development purposes.
NAFS has developed a series of studies under the framework of the remittance project “Syrian Remittances: Dynamics, Volume and the Future” exploring transformations in the political economy of remittances flows and taking an in-depth look into the context in which remittances are sent, received, and used. Besides the considerations of different perspectives on individual, meso and macro level, NAFS has also commissioned case studies on the volume, dynamics and future of remittances in Jordan, Turkey and Germany to provide further context-specific insights. With the remittance project, NAFS aims at exploring the potential of remittances in the future local recovery and prosperity of post-conflict Syria, and supporting the ability of policymakers to formulate effective policies aimed at leveraging remittances.
The objective of the side-event is to inform on the current findings of the NAFS studies and jointly reflect on the challenges but also on the generated potential and key recommendations. As a follow-up to these discussions, further technical exchange on this important topic will be provided.
Ms. Dina Melhem, Programme Manager, National Agenda for the Future of Syria (NAFS) Programme
Ms. Erica Moret, Senior Researcher, Centre for Global Governance
Mr. Joseph Daher, Affiliate Professor, Europe University Institute
Mr. Hasan Tolga Bolukbasi, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Bilkent University
Mr. Benjamin Schraven, Senior Researcher, Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn
Ms. Ola G. El-Taliawi, Assistant Professor, University of Twente.
Organizer: National Agenda for the Future of Syria (NAFS), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia