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Cash-based Interventions for Health programmes in Refugee Settings

2015 — By UNHCR

UNHCR aims to enable refugees to maximise their health status by supporting them to have equal access to quality primary, emergency and referral health services as nationals.The different settings of UNHCR’s operation, however, pose challenges due to the wide variety of , healthcare financing models and disease patterns and burdens, in each region, country and even sub-nationally within a country.

Since the early 1990s, social protection programmes, often focused on safe motherhood, have demonstrated that financial incentives can stimulate positive health outcomes in development settings.There is little documented evidence of the use of cash-based interventions (CBIs) for health services in the humanitarian context, except to provide access to health related products (such as insecticide-treated bed nets) or to support nutrition.

The objectives of this review are to explore the following:

  1. What does the literature say about the use of cash and vouchers to achieve health outcomes?
  2. What are the lessons learned and how can these be applicable for UNHCR’s public health programmes?