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Year-End Post-Distribution Monitoring Report: UNHCR’s multi-purpose cash assistance to refugees in Egypt – 2023

February 2024 — By UNHCR

UNHCR uses cash-based interventions to provide protection, assistance, and services to the most vulnerable. From January to December 2023, UNHCR Egypt provided regular multipurpose cash assistance (MPCA) to 20,944 refugee and asylum seeker households from all nationalities, including new arrivals from Sudan after 15th of April 2023, to support them in covering their priority needs. The cash assistance was delivered on bi-monthly basis and was distributed through Egypt Post Office branches that covers all Egypt’s governorates. To inform UNHCR’s strategic programming for multipurpose cash assistance in terms of understanding the impact of the assistance on their lives, and their views on the cash distribution process, UNHCR conducted an end-year post distribution monitoring survey (PDM) for 2023 regular MPCA.

Data collection for this quantitative assessment was carried out by a third-party, Sagaci Research, between 10th January to 22nd of January 2024. Telephone interviews were conducted with a representative sample of MPCA beneficiary households from all nationalities who were randomly selected from Financial Service Provider (FSP) cash collection reports in December 2023. The sample size was calculated using confidence level of 95% and confidence interval 5. To account for non-response and for errors in data collection 15% were added to the calculated sample size.

A total of 403 MPCA beneficiary households were interviewed about their use of cash, impact of cash assistance, and potential non-compliance issues they faced during the process of cash collection.

Key Findings

• Nearly, a quarter of the respondents (24 per cent) reported that MPCA enabled them to cover all or most of their priority needs, while (60 per cent) reported that it covered half of their needs.

• Most of the interviewed beneficiaries (96 per cent) reported that the cash assistance reduced the financial burden on their households, reduced their feelings of stress (96 per cent) and improved their living conditions (96 per cent).

• The five most cited spending categories were food (cited by 80 per cent of respondents), rent (75 per cent), utilities and bills (28 per cent), health-related items/ services (18 per cent) and debt repayment (nine per cent).

• MPCA enabled most of the beneficiaries (99 per cent) to afford items and or services which they could not afford before receiving it; namely the ability to pay rent/avoid eviction (68 per cent), ability to purchase more food (49 per cent), pay utility bills (20 per cent) and eating more diverse and nutritious food (18 per cent).

• Most beneficiaries (97 per cent) were able to find the needed items in the markets and with the required quality (99 per cent). However, the majority (98 per cent) reported recent increases in the prices of items/services, mainly food, rent and clothes.

• Most beneficiaries (79 per cent) needed to resort to one or more negative coping strategies in the four weeks preceding the survey to cover their most pressing needs. The most frequently adopted coping strategy was reducing expenditures on various basic household needs (hygiene, health, education, baby items etc.) to meet household food needs (60 per cent).

• The majority of beneficiaries (79 per cent) were very satisfied/satisfied with the cash collection process. Also, most beneficiaries (92 per cent) did not require any help to withdraw or spend the cash assistance.

• The majority of the beneficiaries (87 per cent) felt physically safe at all time during withdrawing, keeping and spending cash assistance. Some 80 per cent reported facing no difficulties in withdrawing or spending of cash.

• Among the interviewed beneficiaries, 90 per cent could identify at least one local channel for reporting complaints or feedback on UNHCR cash assistance.