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In 2017, the Greece Cash Alliance (GCA) is a partnership between UNHCR and five international NGOs, provided monthly cash assistance to more than 33,000 refugees and asylum-seekers.

Brahim (left) with his wife Halima and their six kids from Syria show the cash card they just received from UNHCR and its partners.

Thanks to an harmonized cash programme, refugees and asylum seekers who qualify for cash assistance are issued a UNHCR GCA cash card once and have a monthly appointment with the GCA partners in order to certify their presence in the country and their continued eligibility for cash assistance.

To support this cash programme, UNHCR has deployed its corporate cash assistance management system, CashAssist. The system allows UNHCR and its partners to deliver in an automated, timely and accountable manner cash assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers through its global registration and case management system database, proGres v4.

Every month the aggregated lists of eligible refugees are uploaded into UNHCR’s CashAssist. Payment instructions are automatically passed to the Financial Service Provider, using proGres v4 and CashAssist. The Financial Service Provider then loads the cards with cash and refugees use it with a PIN to withdraw cash from cash points or to pay for goods and services in shops.

They use the card to meet their most basic needs (food, clothes, hygiene, communication, transport and school supplies), an approach that allows choice and encourages self-reliance while at the same time contributing to the local economy.

For information about the GCA and its work, follow this link and if you want more information on cash assistance in Greece and how it restore dignity for refugees, click here.