Cash transfers for refugees: an opportunity to bridge the gap between humanitarian assistance and social protection

by Martina Ulrichs, Jessica Hagen-Zanker and Rebecca Holmes
ODI Briefing Papers, January 2017

8 pp. 881 kB

The world is now experiencing the biggest refugee crisis since the second world war. The majority of humanitarian aid provides only short-term isolated support to the long-term displaced. One such mechanism of support is cash transfers. While the impact of cash transfers on access to services and integration of displaced populations is understudied, evaluations have revealed their effectiveness in allowing refugees the flexibility to decide how to use money for their most urgent needs, keeping their children in school, and accessing and reducing social tensions. Based on research conducted into the UNHCR cash transfer in Jordan, this briefing paper offers three policy implications which show how social protection can be used to support refugees.

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