The IRC commissioned an impact evaluation of the UNHCR winter cash assistance program for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. This program disbursed more than US$41 million to 87,700 households from November 2013–April 2014 through a ‘winterization’ program with the objective of keeping people warm and dry during cold winter months. This is the first study to rigorously quantify the causal impact of cash assistance on refugees in post-crises settings. Overall findings showed that while assistance to refugees was insufficient to meet basic needs, the majority of beneficiaries stated that they prefer cash assistance to in-kind support, and the cash assistance served as a positive stimulus for the local economy. Additionally, cash assistance increased mutual support between Syrian beneficiaries and the Lebanese host community members, while also reducing tensions within the household.
The Airbel Impact Lab at IRC is a team of researchers, strategists and innovators committed to the accelerated design, rigorous evaluation and cost-effective scaling of the most impactful solutions supporting people affected by crisis.