Basic assistance

Over the past years, UNHCR Lebanon has pioneered the provision of humanitarian assistance through cash, through ATM cards and vouchers. UNHCR uses cash-based interventions to provide protection, assistance and services to the most vulnerable. Cash helps refugees meet a variety of needs, including access to food, water, healthcare or shelter.

Apart from strengthening the capacity of families to cover their own basic needs, such as rent, food and medicines, and reduce their vulnerability to exploitation and harmful coping strategies, UNHCR’s cash programme has enabled refugees to contribute to the local economy by purchasing directly from local markets and shops.

At present, with the funding currently available for humanitarian assistance, UNHCR is able to target 55% of refugees per cent with monthly cash assistance. In total, together with WFP’s monthly cash and food assistance programmes, UNHCR and WFP are able to reach 99% of the total target Syrian refugee population with monthly cash and food assistance leaving only 1% of vulnerable refugee households unassisted. With WFP combined, we are covering some 262,000 families out of 264,000 eligible families. Cash assistance for refugees in provided in local currency, LBP.

Cash assistance has been streamlined among different agencies through the Basic Assistance Working Group including approaches to targeting and monitoring. UNHCR and partners undertook significant efforts to ensure the assistance is provided in an efficient and effective manner to the eligible population, including through two-way communication channels (SMS, hotlines, info desks) and the establishment of a call centre.

Check our latest Cash Fact Sheet in English.

In addition, the World Food Programme provides food assistance to Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese through the Government of Lebanon’s National Poverty Targeting Programme (NPTP) through e-cards which are loaded at the beginning of each month and may be used to purchase food from local shops.

This 2021 -2022 winter, UNHCR provided winter aid in the form of cash and core-relief items to more than 276,700 refugee families and 44,500 Lebanese families.