A Multidimensional Approach to Measuring Vulnerability to Poverty of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon
Economic Research Forum Working Paper No. 1472
46 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2021 Last revised: 29 Apr 2021
Date Written: April 1, 2021
This study uses vulnerability assessment data collected by the UNHCR, WFP, and UNICEF from Syrian refugees in Lebanon, a country that hosts an estimated 1.5 million refugees from neighboring Syria and the highest per capita proportion of refugees in the world. The data are used to construct a multidimensional livelihood index (MLI) to identify refugee households who are currently poor. The MLI is then used to assess households’ vulnerability to future poverty using a 3-stage Feasible Generalized Least Squares (FGLS) model. Our findings support the view that poverty is a dynamic phenomenon and not a static condition. The analysis allows us to identify more clearly which households and geographical locations are more vulnerable to experiencing prolonged poverty. This study is among the first to adapt the multidimensional poverty framework to the context of protracted forced displacement. It does this using a forward-looking approach to identify who, where, and how to target humanitarian assistance and development interventions more optimally, to prevent rather than simply alleviate immediate poverty.
Keywords: multidimensional poverty, poverty measurement, vulnerability, economic livelihoods, refugees, humanitarian assistance, Middle East, North Africa
JEL Classification: I3, I32, I38, O1, O53, R23, H1
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