We only use your email address to send you the newsletter and to see how many people are opening our emails. A full privacy policy can be viewed here. You can change your mind at any time and update your preferences or unsubscribe.

Syrian refugee children in an informal tented settlement in Lebanon. Photo: Russell Watkins/DfID

Interrogating the potential of a “cash plus” approach to tackle multidimensional vulnerability in humanitarian contexts: the case of Syrian refugees in Jordan

27.10.20 | Economic empowerment | Jordan

Authors

Bassam Abu-Hamad, Nicola Jones, Elizabeth Presler-Marshall, Fiona Samuels and Ingrid Gercama

The 1.3 million Syrians living in Jordan face a highly uncertain future. They are unable to return home due to the unabated conflict in Syria and have very restricted employment options in Jordan. With savings and assets often depleted, and borrowing options largely limited to family and neighbours, UN social assistance (cash transfers and food vouchers) is frequently all that prevents tens of thousands of refugee families from descending into destitution. However, this assistance is increasingly jeopardized by budget cuts and donor fatigue. This chapter draws on primary mixed methods research carried out in 2016 and 2017 aimed at assessing the effects of cash assistance programmes available to Syrian refuges living in Jordan – one provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and another provided, to families with children, by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The chapter explores the potential and limitations of existing assistance modalities to tackle refugee families’ complex economic and social vulnerabilities, drawing on a transformative social protection framework. The chapter concludes that refugees’ needs extend beyond the material; with their livelihoods and social networks disrupted, and violence and fear too often a feature of their lives as refugees in host communities, cash alone cannot adequately address their protection and psychosocial vulnerabilities. In humanitarian contexts, such as the Syrian crisis, in order to guarantee access to the human rights delineated by international conventions, the global community has a duty to deliver a more transformative cash-plus approach to social protection for both adults and children.

Suggested citation

Abu Hamad, B., Jones, N., Presler-Marshall, E., Samuels, F. and Gercama, I. (2019) ‘Interrogating the potential of a “cash plus” approach to tackle multidimensional vulnerability in humanitarian contexts: the case of Syrian refugees in Jordan’ in Jawad, R., Jones, N., Messkoub, M. (eds.) Social Policy in the Middle East and North Africa: The New Social Protection Paradigm and Universal Coverage. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. https://www.elgaronline.com/view/edcoll/9781786431981/9781786431981.00014.xml


Related publications

Journal articles
21.09.21
‘I Wish Someone Would Ask Me Questions’: The Unheard Voices of Adolescents with Disabilities in Jordan
Education and learning
Jordan
Read more
21.09.21 | Education and learning | Journal articles | Jordan
‘I Wish Someone Would Ask Me Questions’: The Unheard Voices of Adolescents with Disabilities in Jordan
Read more
Journal articles
21.09.21
Absenteeism, Dropout, and On-Time School Completion of Vulnerable Primary School Students in Ethiopia: Exploring the Role of Adolescent Decision-Making Power in the Household, Exposure to Violence, and Paid and Unpaid Work
Education and learning
Ethiopia
Read more
21.09.21 | Education and learning | Journal articles | Ethiopia
Absenteeism, Dropout, and On-Time School Completion of Vulnerable Primary School Students in Ethiopia: Exploring the Role of Adolescent Decision-Making Power in the Household, Exposure to Violence, and Paid and Unpaid Work
Read more
Reports
20.09.21
The effects of covid-19 on the lives of adolescent girls and young women in the adult entertainment sector in Nepal
Across GAGE capabilities
Nepal
Read more
20.09.21 | Across GAGE capabilities | Reports | Nepal
The effects of covid-19 on the lives of adolescent girls and young women in the adult entertainment sector in Nepal
Read more