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A promise of tomorrow.The effects of UNHCR and UNICEF cash assistance on Syrian refugees in Jordan

2017 — By Bassam Abu Hamad, Nicola Jones, Fiona Samuels, Ingrid Gercama, Elizabeth Presler-Marshall, Georgia Plank, Aida Essaid, Said Ebbini, Kifah Bani Odeh, Deya’eddin Bazadough, Hala Abu Taleb, Hadeel Al Amayreh, Jude Sadji

Despite the generous hosting by the Government and people of Jordan of Syrian refugees, more than 650,000 registered Syrian refugees in the country, continue to face a highly uncertain future. They cannot go home, given the ongoing conflict and insecurity in Syria; many of the most vulnerable struggle to find suitable employment that would enable them to support themselves and their families while in Jordan; around 80% reside outside of the camps amongst the host community; and the United Nations (UN) cash assistance programmes that enabled them to make ends meet are increasingly jeopardised by budget cuts. Unfortunately, while refugees’ options are heavily restricted, their needs are not.

With their savings exhausted, assets already sold, and borrowing and debt on the rise, despite recently improved access to work opportunities, UN social assistance programmes are helping tens of thousands of registered refugee families make ends meet on a daily basis. It is against this background that our research is set.

This study aimed to find out what effects the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) cash assistance has had on beneficiaries’ lives. It had the following objectives: (1) to evaluate beneficiary spending patterns and their effect on family well-being; (2) to evaluate the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of cash assistance provided by UNHCR and the Child Cash Grant (CCG) provided by the UNICEF; and (3) to evaluate the complementarity of (as well as gaps in) programming by UNICEF, UNHCR and the World Food Programme (WFP) in targeting the most vulnerable groups.