UNHCR and cash assistance – Annual Report 2021 – World

This report highlights UNHCR’s progress in expanding the systematic use of cash assistance in 2021, in line with the policy on cash-based interventions. The report provides an overview of the use of cash assistance in UNHCR country operations and the work to make UNHCR cash accessible at all levels of the organization.


• Fulfilling its Grand Bargain commitment, UNHCR provided some $670 million to some 9.3 million people in 100 countries.

• UNHCR used cash in emergencies, including in difficult contexts such as Afghanistan, DRC,
Yemen and Iran.

• 95% of liquidities were free, leaving the choice to the beneficiaries.

• The main UNHCR operations providing cash assistance were: Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, Greece, Iraq, Egypt, Mexico, Afghanistan, Burundi and Somalia.

• UNHCR responded quickly and effectively to COVID, increasing cash in 65 countries.

• In line with the Global Compact, 6 million people of concern have accessed digital payments, 25% of them to their own bank account or mobile money; a path to financial inclusion. UNHCR has also launched new guidance on cash assistance and access to financial services.

• The United Nations Common Cash Statement has resulted in common transfer mechanisms in more than 25 countries.

• UNHCR deployed CashAssist – UNHCR’s cash management system in 31 countries.

• Over 60 countries conducted post-distribution monitoring using UNHCR’s corporate tool.

• UNHCR continued to focus on cash transfers and protection and launched cash assistance and protection:
Why, what and how? consolidate practices and advice in all operations.

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