Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan for the Syria Crisis

Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan for the Syria Crisis

Children with their teacher do painting activities

Syria. Community Centres are proving to be effective in reaching the most vulnerable. A total of 35 community and satellite centres across Aleppo governorate provide a wide range of free protection services.

An overview of how Syria is addressing the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees. Updated 14 November 2019.

Description of refugee situation

 Where does the population of concern live?

Mostly in urban settings.

Population of concern category




Across the five countries, 95% urban (5.3 million), 5% in camps (276,000)










An overview of how the Government has structured its ability to respond to the refugee situation, with the support of partners.

The Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan for the Syria Crisis (3RP) offers a coordination, planning, advocacy, and programming platform for humanitarian and development partners to respond to the Syria crisis at the regional level and in neighbouring host countries – Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.

The 3RP comprises one regional plan, made up of five country chapters. The design and implementation is nationally led . While strategy, planning and programming are country-led processes, the 3RP promotes a regional coherence to ensure consistency in response, promote innovation, and enhance global advocacy. Regional coordination efforts underpin the drive for regional coherence.

The foundation of the 3RP response model lies in strong national leadership, with national actors as the principal responders and lead coordinators, supported by UN Agencies, international and national NGOs, and other partners. This approach is in line with the GCR and helps to ensure alignment with national priorities, more smooth coordination structures, and provides a natural focus on the strengthening of national institutions.

While the exact modalities of identifying national priorities, planning, coordination, and response vary by country, the 3RP and its partners use every opportunity to place national leadership and capacities at the forefront of the response. In each country, governments typically lead or participate in overall inter-agency coordination mechanisms, with line ministries and local entities often co-leading sectors.


Which partnerships have been strengthened or have been made possible thanks to the implementation of the Global Compact of Refugees?

The 3RP response model is built on partnership at multiple levels: local, sub-national, national and regional. The number of 3RP partners has steadily grown over the years, from over 150 partners in 2015 to over 270 today. Partnerships have been pursued and strengthened in three notable ways:

First, the 3RP is built on the inclusion of development actors, with UNDP as the co-lead of the plan. This recognizes the importance of long-term strategic thinking and action around the impact of protracted refugee situations on the developmental trajectory of host countries.

Second, the 3RP has engaged a wide range of local actors who are critical to an effective response, given that refugees and host communities live side-by-side. This includes local municipalities, civil society groups, charities, and foundations. Collaboration with local municipalities has been particularly important given their role in service delivery across the region.

Third, by pursuing partnerships with ‘new actors’ in order to expand knowledge and research and to improve programming and policy. Of particular note in this area has been the collaboration with International Financial Institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank as well as the private sector, particularly related to financial inclusion and technology innovation.

Partners involved

  • Line Ministries
  • Local government
  • UN Agencies
  • National NGOs
  • International NGOs
  • Private Sector

Engagement with the local government-level, including local municipalities responsible for service delivery, remains a critical aspect of the response in each of the five countries.

Steps towards meeting the objectives of the Compact

Here’s a summary of how partnerships working in education, livelihoods, health and social inclusion have already transformed the lives of refugees and their hosts. 

The Global Compact on Refugees was largely shaped by experiences in the MENA region, including the 3RP model.  Indeed, many consider the 3RP as a model for more comprehensive approaches to engaging host governments, local communities and others in responses to large-scale displacement crises.

With national ownership and supporting local systems at the forefront of the response, all 3RP programming contributes directly to easing pressure on the five countries that host Syrian refugees. 3RP partners have increased year-on-year the amount of support towards strengthening public institutions across the region. In Turkey, almost 90% of funding was channeled through national systems in 2018. Overall, resilience funding - designed to strengthen national and sub-national systems - increased from US$ 486 million in 2015 to US$ 822 million in 2017.

While the initial response was aimed at providing emergency support, virtually all 3RP support is currently programmed to enhance refugee and host community self-reliance and give beneficiaries the dignity, choice and flexibility to prioritize their own needs while supporting local economies and laying the foundations for recovery and resilience. For example, this can be seen by the increasing use of cash-based interventions wherever possible, such as the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) in Turkey, which provides monthly assistance through debit cards to over 1.5 million vulnerable refugees.

3RP partners have continued working with Governments and partners towards supporting increased access of Syrians to national systems where possible, including health, education, employment and social services, in support of the pledges made by host countries at international conferences. For example, nearly 200,000 work permits have been issued to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Turkey, while over 1.3 million Syrian refugee children have been enrolled, the vast majority in the public schools, enabling international support to be provided to the system overall and avoiding parallel system.

The 3RP has adopted a comprehensive protection and solutions strategy over the last few years which seeks not only to support host countries and enable self-reliance of refugees, but also to ensure continued protection and asylum, expand access to resettlement and other safe pathways to a third country, and plan and where appropriate support voluntary return in safety and dignity, which is the fundamental right of every refugee.

Much has been achieved in policy and programmatic terms, from reducing the percentage of Syrian children born in the region without any form of identity documents from approximately 35% in 2012 to 2.5% in 2017; to pioneering the use of Iris Biometrics (eye-scanning) to conduct registrations and operations; to the creation of the Syria core group to promote resettlement of Syrian refugees among key resettlement States.

For more specific information about projects in this region, please visit our Good Practices page.