Uganda + 3 more

Uganda Refugee Response Plan (RRP) 2020-2021, Cash-Based Interventions Dashboard - Quarter 4, January - December 2021

Attachments

Overview

Achievements

The last quarter of 2021 experienced a significant scale-up of cash-based transfers to meet refugee’s food and non-food needs in Uganda. Cash transfers were also aimed at providing longer and more sustainable humanitarian assistance to refugees in crisis. At the same time, there was an increase in the provision of financial literacy trainings to partners as complementary activities to cash-based transfers. This quarter saw more engagement of Government actors towards regularizing policy and legal framework to allow refugees receiving cash to become entrepreneurs such as agents for agency banking, mobile money agents or merchants.

Challenges

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a country-wide lockdown in mid-2021. As a result, many livelihoods were impacted, further reducing household income and disrupting coping mechanisms. In addition, lack of adequate network connectivity, low levels of financial literacy amongst refugees and high transaction fees continue to challenge cash delivery efforts, especially since a recent user preference study indicated that refugees preferred using mobile money. The price of food and non-food items significantly increased in Northern Uganda.
Studies indicate that markets in West Nile are still growing and therefore the scale up of cash by partners is handled gradually to ensure that markets are functional and able to cope with additional cash injections, as per market assessment reports.

Key priorities and gaps

The Cash Working Group is harmonizing financial literacy training by developing minimum standards and harmonizing cash transfers by using a 'common cash approach' that will allow joint implementation and monitoring. More financial service providers are engaging in cash-based transfers, which is a welcome development as a mapping exercise has shown that more are needed to provide tailor made products specific to the refugee population. This will increase flexibility, competitiveness and build more trust. Finally, the individual profiling exercise (IPE), which is currently underway, is likely to improve the targeting of extremely vulnerable households and reduce duplication of efforts in providing cash-based assistance.
The exercise will prioritize households that should continue to receive assistance and support vulnerable households to build sustainable livelihoods.