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CAMEALEON rapid field monitoring survey: The impact of the COVID-19 total lockdown on WFP multi-purpose cash recipients in Lebanon

31 January 2021 — By Cash Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning Organisational Network (CAMEALEON)

This rapid survey conducted by CAMEALEON gathers top-line insights on the impact of the Covid-19 total lockdown, prohibiting all but essential movement, on multi-purpose cash (MPC) recipients. This includes households’ ability to access and spend their assistance, prepare for the lockdown and meet their basic needs. The sample includes 160 Syrian refugee households receiving MPC from the World Food Programme (WFP) living in the Bekaa, North, Beirut and Mount Lebanon (BML) governorates. Data collection was completed via phone survey over five days between 20-26 January 2021.

Key Takeaways
• The majority of surveyed WFP MPC beneficiaries (94%) said they had successfully withdrawn their January assistance at the time of being surveyed; 90% did so prior to the total lockdown and 10% during the lockdown period. Over half of respondents said ATMs were more crowded than usual.
• There were high levels of knowledge about the lockdown decision prior to its implementation. The main source of information was word of mouth, followed by news channels and government SMS.
• Three out of four respondents said they had made trips outside their shelter during total lockdown. The main reason was to purchase food items. This was followed by attending to medical needs and going to the ATM.
• Very few respondents (4%) requested government movement permission. The main reason was the short distance of the trip, followed by lack of awareness of the permissions system and illiteracy.
• Half of respondents said there are delivery services available to them however only 18% reported using them. The majority said they couldn’t afford to use them.
• The majority of households had stockpiled some food items for the lockdown. However, 81% could not purchase enough to see them through the lockdown, mainly due to not having enough money.
• More than half of respondents were not working prior to lockdown. 36% said their work had been impacted by the lockdown and only 2% were still working during the lockdown.
• One in three respondents reported that the total lockdown had impacted their ability to access a currently needed service. Health services were most commonly reported.
• The majority of the surveyed respondents (86%) reported increased stress and/or anxiety during the total lockdown. Refugees’ top concerns related to running out of food, followed by being unable to keep the house warm and accessing needed medication.