From November 2018 to March 2019, UNHCR provided almost 900,000 Syrian refugees with cash assistance in an effort to support families meet the additional needs brought about by the winter season. Families are faced with overwhelming stress during the winter season due to both extreme weather conditions and limited resources. Many families already live in substandard shelter conditions which deteriorate further with heavy rain, wind and snow. As a consequence, many families face additional health risks exacerbated by the inability to stay warm, flooding and already limited access to health care.
Analysis of household level data in the past has shown that Syrian refugee families in Lebanon increase their monthly expenditure by 75 to 150 US$ during the winter season. These additional expenses include buying fuel for heating, shelter rehabilitation, health costs, among regular expenses like food and rent.
UNHCR distributed 375 US$ to poor Syrian refugee families in November 2018 as part of the winter cash assistance programme (WinCAP). The transfer was calculated based on the increased 75 US$ expenditure/family over five months.
Some families were already receiving cash assistance through UNHCR's multipurpose cash programme (MCAP) and/or food assistance from WFP.