Between International Donors and Local Faith Communities: Intermediaries in Humanitarian Assistance to Syrian Refugees in Jordan and Lebanon

  • Citation: Kraft, Kathryn, and Jonathan Smith. “Between International Donors and Local Faith Communities: Intermediaries in Humanitarian Assistance to Syrian Refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.” Disasters 43, no. 1 (2018): 24–45.
    • Topics:
    • Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding
    • Keywords:
    • Jordan
    • Lebanon
    • Syria
    • capacity-building
    • disaster relief
    • faith-based aid
    • humanitarian principles
    • intermediaries
    • localisation
    • Syrian refugees

This paper explores the crucial part that faith-based organisations (FBOs) play in acting as intermediaries between international donors and local faith communities (LFCs) implementing humanitarian relief projects for Syrian refugees. Humanitarian responses to the mounting Syrian refugee crisis have coincided with greater collaboration between international donors and LFCs. This cooperation often is facilitated by a complex web of non-state intermediaries at the international, national, and local level. This study probes the breadth of roles of these intermediaries, drawing on primary data from case studies of two Christian intermediaries supporting Christian LFCs as they deliver aid primarily to Muslim Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. The results of the study are connected to the wider literature on LFCs in humanitarian response, revealing how intermediaries address issues of accountability, capacity-building, impartiality, neutrality, and professionalism. The paper concludes by offering suggestions for further research on intermediaries as key actors in the localisation of humanitarian assistance.

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