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From Negative to Positive Stability: How the Syrian Refugee Crisis Can Improve Jordan's Outlook

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Technical Report

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RAND Corporation, National Defense Research Institute Santa Monica United States

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This report describes the stability of Jordan as of late 2014 and provides insight into the status and effect of the Syrian refugees in Jordan. The report then presents forecasts of the effect these refugees might have on Jordanian stability. This introductory chapter provides a brief overview of Jordan and issues with Jordanian stability, a summary of the Syrian refugee situation as of late 2014, and a description of the research methodology and report structure. Between 2011 and late 2014, fighting associated with the Syrian civil war forced nearly 3 million Syrian civilians to flee their homes. Some of these Syrians are now internally displaced persons IDPs, while others have fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, or further abroad. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees fled south to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.This influx of new refugees into Jordan has strained Jordans already overburdened budget, and the presence of the refugees has generated economic and social disturbances. These increasing tensions have led many observers of Jordan to question whether the Syrian refugees pose a serious,or perhaps even existential, threat to the government of Jordan GoJ.

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