By Francesca Bastagli, Fiona Samuels, Maria Stavropoulou with Nur Tukmani, Hiba Abbani and Georgia Plank.
In response to the growing refugee crisis caused by more than nine years of devastating conflict in Syria, the World Food Program (WFP) is providing multipurpose cash assistance (MPC) to 23,000 Syrian refugee households in Lebanon, supporting some of the most vulnerable refugees. in meeting their basic needs. This study examines the role of the WFP MPC in shaping refugee protection outcomes. It presents the experience and perceptions of 270 interviewees at three sites in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon: Baalbek, Saadnayel and Qabb Elias, drawing on in-depth interviews and focus groups conducted in 2018 and 2019.
Three dimensions of protection are explored in this report:
Coping strategies, focusing specifically on borrowing, early marriage, child labor and removing children from school.
Physical security and safety, including violence and tension within and between Syrian households.
Work-related protection risks, including harassment, exploitation, workplace hazards and documentation issues.
This study contributes to a growing body of literature exploring the role of cash assistance in humanitarian and displacement contexts. Since it is based on interviews with an unrepresentative sample of Syrian respondents at three sites, the study findings are not nationally representative, nor do they attempt to identify the causal effects tested from the ‘cash assistance. Rather, the study sheds light on people’s experience with MPC, on the implementation of MPC in practice and how these are mediated by the context. The findings of the study complement those from MPC impact assessment studies based on large-scale surveys.