Provision of CRIs remained one of the most important activities of UNHCR in 2020 for refugees and asylum-seekers. In 2020, UNHCR distributed 106,473 regular CRIs to different populations of concern. During the reporting period, UNHCR distributed CRI kits (mattresses, blankets, jerrycans, kitchen sets, plastic sheets, solar lamps, heaters, winter clothing, raincoats, baby kits) to 7,911 IDP and IDP returnee households (65,861 individuals) in different parts of Libya. In addition, hygiene kits (shampoo, towels, sanitary napkins, toothpaste, toothbrush, washing powder toilet paper, plastic basin, carry bag) were distributed to 21,007 individuals/4,210 families, and soap bars to 7,070 individuals/1,414 families as part of its response to COVID-19.
Considering operational changes and effect of COVID-19, UNHCR modified the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for distribution of CRIs to ensure that distribution is undertaken in line with the existing rules and procedure and in conformity with the fairness, accountability, transparency and gender sensitivity principles.
UNHCR in partnership with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and ACTED assisted some 6,062 households (32,032 individuals) with unrestricted cash assistance. The entitled beneficiaries were identified using harmonized socioeconomic vulnerability scorecard that was developed and endorsed by the Cash and Markets Working Group of Libya. Both partners had to seek a certified pool of beneficiaries on which the vulnerability selection was applied. ACTED used lists provided by Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA), LibAid and some civil society organizations while DRC relied on local crisis committees. Both partners managed to identify their target for cash assistance in the first three quarters of 2020, however, cash programming was substantially increased in the fourth quarter of 2020 due to immense needs on ground as a result of COVID-19 which impacted the IDPs/returnees economic vulnerability and earmarked funds.
Moreover, in order to mitigate the impact of the Libyan dinar devaluation, following the announcement of a new exchange rate by the Libyan Central Bank in December 2020, UNHCR signed an exceptional no cost extension with both partners to reach a total of 6,062 households to absorb the excess savings in the budget.
On the Cash and Market Working Group level, UNHCR succeeded in introducing a cash transfer value for IDPs and refugees based on the minimum expenditure basket and household size, harmonized socioeconomic vulnerability scorecard and the post-distribution monitoring tool, and initiated an assessment on the national social safety net as part of an exit strategy for cash assistance.
With regards to the outcome of the programme, partners conducted post-distribution monitoring (PDM) reaching a statistically significant number of households randomly sampled from cash distribution lists. For ACTED, about 64% of the respondents reported that cash assistance helped them meet all of their basic needs, 27% reported mostly, 5% respondents reported half of the basic needs while rest of the 4% reported less than half of the basic needs were met with the provided assistance. The adoption of different harmful coping mechanisms was measured from baseline to PDM, and the reduction in these coping strategies is visible in ACTED’s PDM findings.
For DRC, 50% reported being able to fully cover their basic needs due to cash assistance, while 35% said the assistance helped cover most of their needs. The remainder said it only partially covered their needs or not at all. Similarly, 46% reported significant improvement to living conditions, while 51% reported a moderate improvement. Additionally, 79% of the surveyed participants reported food was the top priority of spending, while hygiene items were reported as highest second priority, cited by 27% participants.