Jordan: Refugees receive lump sum as ICRC concludes Cash Transfer Programme
The ICRC in Jordan is concluding its long-running Cash Transfer Programme (CTP) that was implemented, in cooperation with Jordan Red Crescent Society (JRCS), to support the most vulnerable refugees in Mafraq. At the height of its implementation, 4'000 families were enrolled in the programme. The conclusion of the CTP is taking place in stages, starting with households with a working age male. With the support of the JRCS, between October and early November 2020, 15 information sessions were organised in Mafraq to inform beneficiaries of the support available to help their households in the transitional period. For example, the group with a working age male who does not have any medical condition will have the option to receive a 12-month lump sum which equals one year's worth of monthly cash assistance. Households can use the lump sum for an investment or they may choose to pay for an essential large expenditure such as a house move or medical treatment. Alternatively, instead of receiving a lump sum, households can apply for a grant to start a small business which includes business training and can also include vocational training or legal support such as obtaining a work permit.
"One of the most rewarding activities implemented in the field, as far as I know, has been the CTP," said Asma, one of the field officers of the ICRC, who has been part of the programme ever since it began. She continued, "The programme started in 2013 in response to the rapid and sudden increase of Syrian refugees in Jordan. It sought to assist vulnerable individual households with cash which helped them pay for their house rent, which was usually their most pressing expenditure."
According to Asma, they were also able to cover essential expenses that are not provided for by other health, education, and food assistance mechanisms. "It's been truly satisfying to note that these families have been able to fulfill their needs through this programme," she affirmed.
Some beneficiaries would have liked the programme to be extended, especially because of the negative impact of COVID-19 on the economy. Asma's response to this is that this is one of the reasons the lump sum option is being offered. It can be kept in the bank and withdrawn monthly to cover the expenditures during this difficult economic period.
"It has been both beautiful and encouraging to have been part of the Cash Transfer Programme (CTP) which financially supported the most vulnerable refugees in Jordan. I could see the tears of joy in their eyes when they got the support we were able to provide," Asma concluded