Survey on Perceptions of Security Threats Stemming from the Syrian Refugee Presence in Lebanon (International Alert Consultancy, March 2014)
The perception of security risks among the Lebanese citizens was the subject of an earlier research conducted under the framework of the European-Lebanese cooperation program entitled “Developing National Capabilities for Security and Stabilization”. The research was conducted in 2014 by the Lebanese Center for Policy Research (LCPS) in conjunction with International Alert (IA) to provide a bottom up perception of security needs by the diverse Lebanese communities.
One of the main findings at the time was related to the fact that all Lebanese communities indicated a major concern over security risks stemming from the presence of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, albeit the degree of that concern varied from one community to another. To better assess such a major security concern, IA and LCPS commissioned the Beirut Research and Innovation Center (BRIC) to conduct a follow-up study to tackle the perception of the Lebanese citizens regarding the spectrum of security concerns emerging from the acceptance into the country of over a million refugees from the next door war-torn neighbor, Syria.
There are an estimated one million refugees from Syria living in Lebanon, with more arriving every day. As the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, it is increasingly likely that many will remain in Lebanon for many months to come, if not years. In 2013, the Beirut Research and Innovation Center (BRIC) was commissioned by Oxfam to survey 260 households, representing 1,591 individuals, about their living conditions, sources of income and expenditure patterns, coping mechanisms and perceptions of life in Lebanon. The survey showed that many families are spiraling deeper into debt, living in cramped conditions, with few job prospects and dwindling hope for the future.
This study is distinct from others in that it adopts a methodology that not only assesses individual households, but also takes into account the general conditions of the clusters in which they live, with the aim of drawing larger correlations than a simple household survey.
The Swiss Association for Euro-Arab-Muslim dialogue (ASDEAM) was founded in 2006; it comprises Swiss, Arab, and Muslim people coming from a variety of civil society sectors, politics and academia. It aims in particular to achieve the following objective: opening up free space for thinking and for concrete initiatives in cultural and spheres, among others, where current or potential crises, of whatever nature, could benefit from the intellectual environment offered by Switzerland and its institutions.
The overall situation of conflict that today characterizes the Arab and the Muslim world and its consequences in Europe and elsewhere, provides ASDEAM with a vast field of action. Thus, for over a year, it had dedicated itself to the question of Lebanon. Following a public debate on this issue organized under the auspices of the Graduate Institute of International Studies (HEI) in Geneva in the autumn of 2006, ASDEAM, had during the year 2007 extended its efforts to bring together, three times in Switzerland, a group of Lebanese personalities, representing all political currents, in the face of a variety of institutional challenges and deadlines.
These meetings had allowed, each time, to advance the points of agreement, to identify differences and clarify their importance, and to gradually build a spirit of understanding favorable to the revival of ‘living together’ under a ‘libanité’ to be reconstructed.