Cash aid builds confidence in Syrian refugees

Through UN Refugee Agency’s cash aid programmes, refugees have seen a greater sense of dignity.

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The UN Refugee Agency programme of replacing aid with monthly cash pay outs has boosted refugees’ dignity as 80% of the world’s displaced people live in urban areas.

According to the UNHCR report, a 38-year old Syrian refugee, Tharwat, who has spent six years in Lebanon, felt that the cash disbursement had given him control to his finances, and a consequent increase in self-worth.

“I now have the freedom to buy what I need the most, and that’s my mother’s medication. She would fall very ill without it. For me, food comes second,” Tharwat said in the report.

The traditional type of aid is in-kind support through clothes, medication, and food. The UN Refugee Agency’s programme to give refugees an option to get cash through cards or ATMs has offered refugees the chance to meet what they deem to be most important in their life.

For Tharwat, medication for his ill mother was priority, and so instead of having an oversupply of in-kind goods, he is able to allocate the money to the needs of his mother.

This programme has also seen a boost in the local economy of Lebanon. As refugees are given the choice of what they want to prioritise in, products such as fuel has increased a local businessmen’s revenues by 10%.

To read the original story, click here.

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