[P4826] Vulnerability and Exclusion: Examining Access to Services and Institutions for Syrian Refugees and Residents of Cairo's Ashwayyat

Created by Colette Salemi
Tuesday, 11/21/17 1:00pm


Access to services and institutions for vulnerable populations in the Middle East and North Africa region is especially challenging for groups whose status and residency fall outside of the parameters of formal state apparatuses. Such compromised access is particularly evident for refugee populations and for nationals residing in informal neighborhoods. Barriers to services (such as healthcare, water and sanitation, and security) and institutions (such as schools) can place marginalized groups in life-threatening circumstances and jeopardize long-run access to sustainable livelihoods. To identify and better understand the source of these critical gaps, our panel explores access to institutions and services for Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey, and Europe, and access to institutions for young Egyptians residing in Greater Cairo's informal settlements.

To some extent, government agencies and humanitarian actors seek to fill in service and institutional gaps for those identified as "vulnerable". But what are the criteria of "vulnerability" among such actors, and do these definitions accurately capture all marginalized groups? Geospatially, is the distribution of funding for services and institutions a function of a mutually agreed-upon definition of vulnerability, or other factors? Do intervening actors understand their efforts as temporary relief or sustainable development? Institutionally, do service providers engage in deliberative practices and allocate resources fairly, or does competition, negligence, or stigma drive gaps in provision for vulnerable populations? And to what extent do those designated as "vulnerable" gain access to the policy-making processes that affect their access to services and institutions?

These are just some of the questions this panel will examine as it explores two case studies. The first case study is the humanitarian response to the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan, Turkey, and the European Union. The second examines access to services and institutions for young people residing in Greater Cairo's ashwayyat (informal neighborhoods).


Pol Science