Socio-Economic Conditions of Palestinian Refugees in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon

TIGER Working Paper Series No. 35

17 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2006

See all articles by Andrzej Bolesta

Andrzej Bolesta

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: December 2002


The socio-economic conditions of Palestinians in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon depend on various political and economic premises as well as on the 'imaginary ethnic environment' in each country. In Lebanon Palestinian refugees seem to be the worst affected. Being constantly denied any rights they are forced to struggle for life. International assistance is insufficient, and although effort is put into securing refugees' basic needs it does not change in a significant way their standard of living. In Syria, Palestinians enjoy almost the same rights, or rather their lack, as Syrian nationals. However, the conditions of the refugee camps do not seem to vary from those in Lebanon or Jordan. In the Hashemite Kingdom most of the Palestinians are granted Jordanian citizenship, but the economic crisis and widespread poverty do not allow the full enjoyment of all the rights. Palestinians seem to be sharing the effects of poverty along with Syrians and Jordanians, and are relegated to the 'third category' citizens in Lebanon. Only few of them, mainly representing middle and upper class, managed to assimilate themselves into the host countries' societies and can afford life on a decent standard comparable to the one they had before being forced to migrate. The misery of Palestinians in the region can be seen as an effect of discriminating legal norms, economic crises, political unrest and a low level of development in the host countries.

Keywords: refugees, Palestinians, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon

Suggested Citation

Bolesta, Andrzej, Socio-Economic Conditions of Palestinian Refugees in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon (December 2002). TIGER Working Paper Series No. 35, Available at SSRN: or

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