UNHCR Lebanon: Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance Programme (MCAP) outcome monitoring report

7 pp
Date published
12 Mar 2020
Thematic evaluation
Cash-based transfers (CBT), Children & youth, Food security, Nutrition, Forced displacement and migration, Syria crisis

Through the multi-purpose cash assistance programme (MCAP), UNHCR helps some 33,000 Syrian refugee families in Lebanon meet their basic needs with safety and dignity. As part of a global basic needs approach, UNHCR MCAP allows families to have enhanced socio-economic capacity though the provision of cash. Assisted families have access to cash through an ATM card and personal PIN number that can be used at any ATM across the country. Each month, families receive an SMS that their card has been loaded with an amount equal to US$ 175.

Targeting for MCAP has evolved over the years, since the inception of the programme in 2014. Using innovative methodologies and ensuring the highest standards of data protection, UNHCR is able to assist the poorest, most socioeconomically vulnerable families. An econometric model was developed using data from the annual Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian Refugees (VASyR) with the purpose to determine predictors of expenditure. Using expenditure as a proxy for poverty, and by applying the formula to UNHCR refugee data, refugee families are ranked according to their predicted expenditure and in turn, their socio-economic vulnerability. Families that have a monthly expenditure below the Survival Minimum Expenditure Basket (SMEB) of US$ 87 per capita/month are classified as Severely Vulnerable and eligible for MCAP. The 2018 VASyR reports that about half the refugee population are living below the SMEB.

With such a large population in need and with limited resources, UNHCR targets the poorest families (i.e. those with the lowest predicted expenditures) in each area of operation in Lebanon (Mount Lebanon, Bekaa, North Lebanon and South Lebanon).

Humanitarian cash actors in Lebanon, including UNHCR, are currently about to support around 40% of the severely vulnerable population.