The benefits of aid in Money in physical form such as banknotes and coins. are becoming increasingly apparent as more humanitarian organisations adopt them. Indeed, in UNICEF’s recently published 2017-2018 Winterization report “Wrapped Up Warm”, data shows that humanitarian aid provided in cash during the harsh winter months allowed children to be better dressed and protected from the cold. For the past three winters, UNICEF has been handing out an average 20 Jordanian dinars per child per family living in the Za’atari and Azraq refugee camps and the results have far surpassed expectations.
Numbers show that 97% of the assistance that UNICEF gave in cash was used to purchase winter clothing for children and 95% of the beneficiaries confirmed their children were better prepared to face the winter thanks to UNICEF’s support. “Winterization The term cash assistance refers to direct cash transfers to individuals, families and communities in need of humanitarian support in lieu of in-kind commodities or direct service delivery. The term can be used interchangeably with ‘cash-based interventions’ (CBI), ‘cash transfer programming’ (CTP), ‘cash and voucher assistance’ (CVA), and ‘cash-based programming (CBP)’. It does not include fund transfers from donors, payment of incentives to the staff of local authorities, paymen... is effective and a powerful tool to help families realise their rights to health, education and recreation”.
Given the proven effectiveness of such programmes, UNICEF partnered with other organizations to ensure a wider scope of cash-based aid. In the case of the two abovementioned refugee camps, other assistance programmes included UNHCR, OCHA and CARE, each providing between 10 and 20 Jordanian dollars per family or person, depending on the aid.
Almost ninety-two percent of the Azraq camp residents and 97% of Za’atari residents expressed their preference for cash-based aid citing the top reasons as “I better know the needs of my children, and what may lack”, and “For flexibility on the market we shop from, so we are not bound to certain places”.
Indirectly, these initiatives have given a positive financial boost to surrounding community as 95% of the distributed funds were used locally.
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