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Policies for the Growing Refugee Crisis in the Levant

According to UNHCR, the number of Syrian refugees has surpassed 2 million, with Lebanon receiving the lion’s share, followed by Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq. The continual influx of refugees has begun to burden neighboring regions’ social and sectarian fabric. If left unchecked, the refugee crisis could deplete neighboring countries’ resources and further imperil stability in the country.

Even more threatening than the regional influx is the internal displacement of a quarter of the Syrian population. An estimated 6.8 million people are in dire need of assistance, but with no resolution to the military conflict, tens of thousands of civilians are trapped in areas with no access to food, clean water, medical care, and shelter. 

Government and UN officials and experts on forced migration and humanitarian relief will discuss the context and implications of the growing refugee crisis. The objective will be to suggest, in consideration of regional politics and demographics, several domestic and international policy responses aimed at managing and mitigating the destabilizing effects of the growing refugee population.


  • David Miliband, president and CEO, International Rescue Committee
  • Dr. Najib Ghadbian, special representative to the United States for the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces
  • Amb. Namik Tan, ambassador of Turkey to the US
  • Amb. Alia Hatoug Bouran, ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the US
  • Dr. Nabeel Khoury, senior fellow on the Middle East and national security, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs (Impact on Lebanon)
  • David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times
  • Anne Richard, assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration
  • Mark Silverman, deputy head of Washington delegation, International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Steve Inskeep, host of “Morning Edition,” NPR

Event information
Wed Mar 5, 2014
12:00pm - 3:30pm GMT+0000
Aspen Institute
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 700, Large Conference Room
Washington, DC, United States