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Case Study on Cash and Voucher Assistance in Northwest Syria

As part of its humanitarian programming in northwest Syria through cross-border operations managed from Turkey, UNFPA has provided one-off, unconditional, individual cash disbursements to 10,074 vulnerable internally displaced persons (IDPs) to cover the costs of their most urgent and vital needs. The project comes as part of a larger cash and voucher assistance (CVA) programme being piloted in several countries within the Syria crisis response. 

In early 2020, UNFPA decided to scale up its assistance to provide programming for the most vulnerable with the aim to reduce overall protection risks. A one-off, unconditional individual protection assistance (IPA) was designed, targeting individuals with exacerbated vulnerabilities. The assistance was delivered through four of UNFPA implementing partners between April and September 2020. Overall, the IPA project was considered relevant and effective as transactional costs were minimal and the women and men who received the assistance were given full agency to determine what their immediate needs were.

The one-off cash assistance also served as an effective entry point to provide recipients with relevant information on available services in the respective areas, including protection and gender-based violence (GBV) specialised services. The UNFPA Turkey Cross Border Programme Team and the UNFPA Humanitarian Office in Geneva have partnered to launch this case study highlighting the rationale and impact of this initiative in the hope of benefitting other programmes and responses.