MEB and SMEB Revision: Community Consultation
The Lebanon Cash Consortium (LCC) is comprised of six INGOs that provide severely socio-economically vulnerable refugees with $175 worth of Multipurpose Cash Assistance (MCA) per month. The LCC uses a formula called the Proxy Means Tests (PMT), which generates a composite score representing economic welfare, to target households eligible for MCA. In addition, the Minimum Expenditure Basket (MEB) and the Survival Minimum Expenditure Basket (SMEB), which are baskets containing the food and non-food items, with their expenses, that are needed by a Syrian refugee household of five members over a one-month duration, are then used to determine the amount of cash given and to set the eligibility threshold.
The MEB and SMEB were developed by the Cash Working Group in June 2014, but have not been revised since then. As such, an Advisory Committee (AC) of several INGOs led by the LCC was formed to lead on the revision of the two baskets. As a core part of this revision process, 33 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted across eight governorates to gauge the community’s perspective on what items the MEB must include and the costs implied. Furthermore, the current study aimed at exploring the community’s disagreement and/or agreement with the content of the existing baskets. Both of the aforementioned objectives were also investigated on gender and location level.