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In this paper, the authors estimate the impact after 4–8 months of a large one-off unconditional cash transfer delivered to refugees during a time of dual shocks: the COVID-19 pandemic and cuts to monthly aid. Four key outcomes are considered: (1) health-seeking behaviour; (2) COVID-19 specific preventive health practices; (3) food security and (4) psychological well-being.

Quantitative and qualitative data was used to understand the impact of a cash transfer in this context between February and September 2020, allowing the study to understand change over time.

The results did not find a statistically significant effect of receiving the cash transfer on preventative measures against COVID-19. However, households receiving the cash transfer were more food secure, have better psychological well-being (24.5%, p=0.003) and are more likely to seek healthcare in the private health facilities  as compared with control households. Stronger  effects were found for households that were the first to receive the cash transfers.

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