Many partners scaled up interventions to support the new arrivals as well as meet the needs of existing refugees. Digitalizing cash transfers through agency banking and mobile money ensured that vulnerable households received cash assistance in a timely, efficient and discreet manner. Financial literacy trainings were delivered in all settlements to support vulnerable households utilize the cash appropriately. This quarter saw the engagement of more financial service providers in the refugee response, most of whom are now developing tailor made financial products for refugees. Initiatives to link refugees with financial service providers through credit facilities will expand access to credit by refugees. The link between humanitarian cash transfers and the longer, more sustainable social protection transfers continues to be a key discussion amongst cash partners in Uganda.
This quarter saw an increase in food and commodity prices attributed to global increase on fuel prices / inflation. As a result, many households that were previously food secure, particularly in South West region, experience food insecurity. As implementation of digitization of cash continues, it was evident that the merchant payment system was not fully appreciated and utilized by refugees. Partners implementing cash assistance will the CWG work with MNO to provide a sustainable solution to promote the use of merchant payments among refugee populations.
Key priorities and gaps
The priority in Q2 will be to update Education, food security and livelihoods MEB components. As the IPE process is finalized, the key focus will be the implementation of targeted cash transfers to ensure the most vulnerable get the assistance they need to meet their basic needs. A referral mechanism established by the Uganda Cash Consortium will complement sectoral cash provided to vulnerable households, education for school going children as well as address protection concerns. Finally, Q2 will have more engagements with key FSPs and will enhance access to credit for refugees and increase financial and digital literacy training.