“Before we were restricted to spending the cash assistance in supermarkets. But when they made it available in cash, they gave us the freedom of choice. What we buy is no longer imposed on us”
Cash assistance gives refugees the power of choice
Uprooted from family home in Homs by shelling in 2012, Manar Al Sayer the 29-year-old Syrian widow sought refuge in neighbouring Lebanon the following year. After her husband was killed in a traffic accident, she is now head of the family.
She is among millions of refugees and others of concern in scores of countries worldwide who have been able to take greater control of their lives since we began expanding cash-based assistance in 2016. With cash in hand, she can now prioritize her monthly spending for herself and her three children, Aseel, six, Abdullah, nine, and Osaima 12.
“I allocate this cash assistance so that my children can attend the morning shift at school…I use it to pay for my children’s school transport and I am very happy that I am now able to pay for something,” she adds.
Cash assistance aims to help refugees, asylum-seekers, returnees, internally displaced and stateless people meet their needs in dignity, are protected and can become more resilient.
Most of the money is disbursed without restrictions, meaning that refugees themselves can choose how they spend it. This benefits the local economy as refugees buy essential goods in local stores and pay for local services.
We are also expanding cash assistance so that the millions of people can become more resilient but we cannot do this alone. Please donate today, your generous contribution can make a different to support refugee families to restore thrive lives.
Where your money goes*.
HK$93 out of every HK$100 donated goes directly to refugee families.
Cash assistance restores a sense of normalcy and independence allowing
families to choose where they spend their money.
- UNHCR Fact Sheet on Cash-Based Assistance 2018
- Policy on Cash-Based Interventions
- UNHCR Strategy for the Institutionalisation of Cash-Based Interventions 2016-2020
- UNHCR Operational Guidelines for Cash-Based Interventions in Displacement Settings
- Basic Needs Approach in the Refugee Response
- Statement from the Principals of OCHA, UNHCR, WFP and UNICEF on Cash Assistance