Objective: The purpose of this paper is to shed the light on how the Syrian refugee crisis affected the Lebanese economy, through illustrating the case of the banking sector in the Bekaa Valley between 2011 and 2016. Among its stated objectives, this research seeks to be as a reference for scholars showing interest in this subject. The focus of the study was directed toward the impact on the banking sector by highlighting on the following indicators: loan and deposit growth, interest rates, and on the impact of cash for work programs for refugees and as well as on the Lebanese economy.
Methodology: The Mono-method was used in this research study which focused on one single qualitative technique, utilizing the in depth interview data collection method . Choosing this technique helped in answering the research question since we targeted the refugees-which are the cause group- impacting the Lebanese economy, banking sector group specifically high and intermediate level of employees, which are the Humanitarian activists, the intermediaries between refugees and the host community are including economic sector.
Results: The Syrian refugee crisis had no significant impact on the Lebanese banking sector. As a result of the national and international limitations, which are represented by the following factors: Their inability to open checking/saving accounts, take loans or even make investments. However, there was a decrease in interest rate on deposits, where no significant growth in interest rates on loans, increase demand on loans by locals, no significant change in interest rates on local and foreign currencies. On the other hand, Syrian refugee crises had several impacts on other economic sectors such as trade, employment and transportation sectors.
Implication: This research provides an in depth analysis about the impact of Syrian refugee crisis on the Lebanese economy; especially in the banking sector. Results showed that the Syrian refugee crisis had a positive impact on the local trade sector, increase in native unemployment rates (Segal, et al. 2010). Moreover, the cash for work program provided great benefit for registered refugees. With respect to the growth of interest rates, experts from banking sector agreed that there was an increase in demand on loans without any growth in loans interest rates. On the other hand, there was a decrease in interest rates on deposit.
Ayoub, M., 2017. Impact of Syrian Refugee Crisis On The Lebanese Economy: The Case of Banking Sector. MBA thesis presented at the AUL University.
Calì, M., Harake, W., Hassan, F., & Struck, C. (April 2015). “The Impact of the Syrian Conflict on Lebanese Trade”. Report published by the World Bank. Retrieved on Nov 30, 2016, from http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/908431468174247241/pdf/96087-WP-P148051-PUBLIC-Box391435B-Syria-Trade-Report.pdf
Chaaban, J., Ghattas, H., Habib, R., Hanafi, S., Sahyoun, N., Salti, N., Seyfert, K., Naamani, N. (2010), “Socio-Economic Survey of Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon”, Report published by the American University of Beirut (AUB) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
DeVoretz, Don J. and Pivnenko, Sergiy and Beiser, Morton, The Economic Experiences of Refugees in Canada (March 2004). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1088. Available at
Dryden-Peterson, S., & Hovil, L. (2009). A remaining hope for durable solutions: Local integration of refugees and their hosts in the case of Uganda. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 22(1), 31–32.
Hudson, M. C. (1997). Palestinians and Lebanon: The common story. Journal of Refugee Studies, 10(3), 243–260.
George, U. (2002). A needs-based model for settlement service delivery for newcomers to Canada. International Social Work, 45(4), 465–480.
Girard, M., 2016. Syrian refugees in Lebanon: A turning point? The Long-Term Challenges of Forced Migration: Perspectives from Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, LSE Middle East Centre Collected Papers , Volume 6, (September 20 2016).
Head, K., & Ries, J. (1998). Immigration and trade creation: Econometric evidence from Canada. The Canadian Journal of Economics, 31(1), 47–62.
Kuhlman, T. (1990). Burden or boon? A study of Eritrean refugees in the Sudan. VU University Press.
Loescher, G. (1996). Beyond charity: International Cooperation and the Global Refugee Crisis. Oxford University Press.
Mouamar, P. (August 24 2013). Viewpoints: Impact of Syrian refugees on host countries. BBC World. Retrieved from
Mudallali, A. (February 2013). The Syrian Refugee Crisis is Pushing Lebanon to the Brink. Retrieved November 30, 2016, from Woodrow Wilson Center, https://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/syrian_refugee_crisis_pushing_lebanon_to_brink.pdf
Nasr, S. (1978). Backdrop to civil war: The crisis of Lebanese capitalism. MERIP Reports 3–13.
Holmes, O. (April 17 2013). Syrian refugees burden and benefit for Lebanese economy. Retrieved November 30, 2016, from
Rooth, D.-O. (1999). Refugee immigrants in Sweden – educational investments and labour market integration. PhD Thesis defended at the University of Lund, Sweden.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2009). Research Methods For Business Students (Fifth edition), Pearsons.
Segal, U. A., Elliott, D., & Mayadas, N. S. (2010). Immigration Worldwide: Policies, Practices, and Trends. Oxford University Press.