This is the second of two Research Snapshots summarising findings of the research undertaken as part of the R2HC-funded study Multi-Purpose And Conditional Cash-Based Transfers And Public Health Among Syrian Refugees. This snapshot focuses on Multi-Purpose Cash Transfers (MPCs).
In recent years, cash assistance has rapidly expanded in the Syrian refugee response in Jordan and Lebanon, as well as in global humanitarian programming. This study examined the effects of MPC on health-seeking behaviour, health service utilization, and health expenditures to provide much-needed evidence to inform use of cash transfer programs in current and future humanitarian responses.
Cash transfers are used on a widespread basis in the Syrian refugee response in Jordan and Lebanon. MPC, or unrestricted cash transfers designed to address a variety of needs, is believed to be more efficient and effective than in-kind assistance and improves local economies, choice, and dignity for recipients.
The study shows that while MPC may have some positive effects, findings were mixed and MPC appears insufficient on its own to address health utilization and expenditures. Though MPC should not be considered as a stand-alone health intervention, some findings may be positive for humanitarian response financing, given the potential for investment in MPC to translate to savings in the health sector response.
This snapshot contains key messages, findings, implications for humanitarian policymakers and practitioners and recommendations for further research.
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