UNHCR extends cash based assistance to East Africa
Kampala October 31- The UN refugee UNHCR plans to double cash-based assistance to refugees by 2020. The programme will also be rolled out to fifteen additional countries in 2017 inclusing Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.
This follows the experience in countries where the system was earlier deployed which demonstrated that cash based payments were better than food rations.
“The use of cash-based assistance has been a real game changer in the way we help refugees and we have now decided to make it a worldwide policy and expand it to all our operations, where feasible. Refugees know best what they need. The broader use of cash-based assistance means that many more will be able to decide how to manage their family’s budget. This will help them lead more dignified and normal lives,”Filippo Grandi the agency’s High Commissioner said in Kampala today.
Grandi noted that cash-based programmes were also very effective and have often proven to be an efficient way to help those fleeing conflict and persecution, in a context of growing urbanization and search for alternatives to camps. “Expanding our cash-based assistance to refugees and forcibly displaced people in the coming years will go hand-in-hand with enhancing our partnerships. I am convinced that by developing joint cash delivery arrangements with our partners on the ground, we will not only ensure more predictable and coordinated assistance to refugees but also maximize efficiency and synergies,” he added.
He also stressed that cash assistance benefit local businesses and economies and is an important asset for fostering relationships between host and refugee communities. UNHCR is already providing cash-based interventions in 60 countries and in 2017, refugees in 15 additional countries including Niger, DRC, Kenya, Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Afghanistan and Iran will also benefit from cash-based assistance.