UNHCR Denies Fake News On Daily Assistance For All Refugees


UNHCR Malaysia News   © UNHCR Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, 28 April 2020 – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency denies the false text message that has been circulating in Malaysia in recent days, alleging that the agency provides daily cash assistance to all refugees in Malaysia.

The agency also denies that refugees benefit from Government assistance such as public welfare and health subsidies.

UNHCR’s approach all over the world is to ensure refugees are able to be self-reliant, and not rely on handouts. We work with partners including NGOs and the private sector to help refugees be better able to take care of their families through income-generating projects, and build their capacity through vocational trainings, whenever possible.

UNHCR, private sector, NGOs, and civil society also continue to advocate with the Government for access to legal work for refugees. This would allow those recognized as refugees the opportunity to work lawfully and would provide a source of willing labour to support the Malaysian economy. Access to legal work would also transform the quality and protection of refugees’ lives in terms of enhancing self-reliance.

Greater self-reliance among refugee communities would lead to better health and education. At the same time, it would provide a stronger basis for refugees to contemplate their future options, including returning to their home countries with transferrable skills to start their new lives when that is possible. 

For highly vulnerable refugees, UNHCR provides time-limited financial. Highly vulnerable refugees can include refugees with life-threatening illnesses who are unable to support their families, single women head of households with no income, the elderly with no family, refugees with disabilities, and others.

Assessment is made on a case by case basis by trained social workers in order to determine if a person requires financial assistance, medical assistance, or other kinds of support.

Regrettably, due to very limited budget allocations, such support can only be given to very few families.