Cash Assistance

Independence and dignity in survival

Photo: ©UNHCR/Annie Sakkab

Most refugees flee with the bare essentials – just the clothes on their backs and the belongings in their arms. They have no tools to grow food, no possessions to sell and no way to make a living. Without our help, they would be unable to buy the food and essential supplies they urgently need in their new countries.

UNHCR provides cash assistance to the most vulnerable families – helping them get back on their feet and stay alive through the toughest of times. The flexibility of this assistance gives families a more dignified means of survival – allowing them to make choices, prioritise their needs and contribute to the local economy.

Cash assistance is one of the most efficient forms of relief, with more than 96 pence in every £1 donated going straight to refugees. UNHCR also makes use of the latest available technologies, such as cash delivery through ATMs, iris scans and the EyeCloud, helping make sure only those who need it most receive these life-saving grants.

Our supporters help fund


to buy food, clean water or medicine.

Cash assistance

to help people build and support new livelihoods.  

Surviving – and thriving

Entesar fled Syria when her hometown came under fire. She crossed into Jordan with her children – including seven-year-old Kholud, who was just a baby at the time. But her husband was killed in yet another attack – leaving her widowed in a new country, providing for her family alone.

Now living in Amman, Jordan’s capital, Entesar relies on monthly cash assistance from UNHCR to help her afford rent, food, household items and heating supplies during the cold winter months. With our help, the family is surviving and even thriving – with Kholud now a star pupil at her local primary school.

Photo: ©UNHCR/Hannah Maule-ffinch

Did you know that cash assistance gives families a way to survive, without resorting to desperate measures like prostitution, child labour or forced marriage?

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