UNHCR Lebanon supports some 33,000 Syrian refugee families to meet their basic needs through the multi-purpose cash assistance program (MCAP). As part of a global basic needs approach, UNHCR MCAP enhances household socioeconomic capacity through the provision of cash assistance. Assisted families receive a monthly cash transfer of US$175 which can be redeemed at any ATM across the country using a card and PIN. Benefiting families also receive US$27/ individual/month from the World Food Program (WFP) through the same ATM card to meet their food needs.
Most families assisted by MCAP are included through an econometric model (the desk formula) that ranks families according to their predicted expenditure. Using expenditure as a proxy for poverty and by applying the model to UNHCR refugee data, families that are living below the Survival Minimum Expenditure Basket (SMEB), the severely vulnerable, are eligible for MCAP. However, a portion of families to be assisted is reserved for inclusion through a Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM). The GRM was designed and implemented as an alternative inclusion pathway for cash assistance and serves to increase accountability to the affected population through a refugee-initiated process. The GRM operates once a year, in connection to the announcement of eligibility following the annual review of the desk formula.
In 2018, refugee families were informed of their eligibility status through an SMS upon which they could lodge a claim about exclusion from assistance either through the Call Center or UNHCR Reception Centres. During September to October 2018, 67,500 grievances were gathered following the eligibility announcements. Of these, 2,740 families were included in UNCHR MCAP through the GRM starting January 2019 and were to receive ten months of MCAP assistance.
The GRM gave families who had been discontinued from assistance or not previously assisted, an opportunity to be included in the programme, based on the following criteria: 1) the family is severely vulnerable according to the desk formula, 2) not recipients of any kind of cash/food assistance or were discontinued in the recent cycle, and 3) matched specific vulnerability profiles that are typically left out of assistance and puts them at an additional risk for socio-economic vulnerability.
An Outcome Monitoring (OM) exercise was carried to examine the situation of families included in MCAP through the GRM, to understand what effects the assistance has had and assess whether benefiting families were able to safely access assistance. The findings are presented in this report.