Reference : V-P-JO-E-00163
Date : 28/10/2013
Country/Region : SYRIA; JORDAN
Caption : Mafraq Governorate. The ICRC and the Jordan Red Crescent Society distribute debit cards to vulnerable Syrian families living in host communities.
Photographer : REVOL, Didier
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : The mechanism for the cash transfer is done through ATM cards issued by a major bank. The project will last until March 2014, with one instalment per month. The amount of cash assistance varies according to the household size. To help Syrians withstand winter, the amount will increase during the cold season. The ICRC and Palestinian RC helped around 1000 syrian families with their cash transfer programme.

21-11-2013 Operational Update

As the conflict continues unabated, Syrians are fleeing their homes every day to seek refuge in Jordan. With winter approaching, the ICRC and the Jordan National Red Crescent Society are finding new ways to help them cope with increasing needs.

Many Syrians who have found refuge in Jordan depend on aid provided by local and international aid agencies. The vast majority of the refugees have been taken in by local communities in northern areas near the Syrian border. Some have not received any other kind of assistance since arriving in the country.

"Between 200 and 500 people are arriving daily. Most have endured a gruelling journey across the desert," said Nana Chukhua, ICRC delegate in Jordan. "As soon as they arrive, they urgently need water, food and shelter."

"We were forced to travel dozens of kilometres through the desert with scarcely any food or water," said Abu Yazan, a Syrian refugee from Homs. "It was cold, and we had to sleep on the ground."

The majority have left all their belongings behind and cannot meet basic needs such as food, health care, house rent, water and electricity bills. Besides distributing relief items to the refugees, the ICRC and the Jordan National Red Crescent Society launched a programme in October to provide cash assistance for 1,000 families in Mafraq governorate, northern Jordan, with the dual aim of helping them and easing the burden on local communities.

"The cash money will definitely help us cover our basic needs, mainly house rent," said Um Anwar, a 32-year-old Syrian who resides in Mafraq. "The money will also help me obtain treatment for my 13-year-old daughter," the mother of five added.

An innovative cash transfer programme:

In Jordan, the vast majority of Syrian refugees live in host communities and often have problems meeting their basic needs. To help them with expenses not covered by other relief mechanisms, the ICRC and the Jordan National Red Crescent Society launched a cash assistance programme in October in Mafraq governorate, in the north of the country, which will be implemented over a period of six months.

An initial group of 1,000 families have started receiving debit cards issued by a major bank that will allow them to withdraw money directly from ATM machines. The amount of money (from USD 70 to 310) made available to each family depends on the size of the household and will be increased during winter months.

As the ICRC’s Hekmat Sharabi puts it, this programme "is much more flexible than just giving them assistance that they might not consider suitable. It preserves people's dignity by giving them the opportunity to determine on their own what they are most in need of."
Original material : digital
Resolution : 4000x2672
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour