This case study is part of an evaluation of UNESCO’s role in education in emergencies and protracted crises. It aims to analyze UNESCO’s strategic positioning and its participation in system-wide response to the Syria crisis in Lebanon, Jordan and the Kurdistan region of Iraq. More specifically, it focusses on UNESCO’s education response in the technical areas that are regarded as necessary for bridging the humanitarian-development divide in the context of a protracted refugee crisis. UNESCO’s education response to the Syria crisis began in 2012, but it wasn’t until 2015 that the Organization developed a regional response strategy and programmatic framework Bridging Learning Gaps for Youth. This case study found that UNESCO has made important contributions to strengthening education systems in countries affected by the influx of Syrian refugees by addressing both short-term needs and longer-term objectives in the following technical areas: teacher training, capacity development of ministry staff, information strengthening, and educational planning. The main challenges that UNESCO faces is to make visible its systems strengthening work and to focus its limited resources and specialized expertise in areas where it has a comparative advantage.