Solidar Suisse has been supporting Syrian refugees in Lebanon since October 2012. Initially with relief supplies and the construction of shelters and now with monthly money transfers to cover basic needs. Communities in southern Lebanon are also supported in the maintenance and improvement of their service publics.

Foto: Jan Kjær,

To enable Syrian refugees in Lebanon to cover their basic needs, Solidar provides 450 Syrian families with monthly amounts of money, which are loaded onto a personal EC card. The EC cards are loaded via e-banking and the beneficiary families are informed by SMS. From this point on, the money can be withdrawn at the counter by presenting an identity card.

The advantages of the cash approach

This means that families can buy the goods they need most: food, toiletries, blankets, clothing, school supplies, heating and rent. Transferring the money directly to the refugees has many advantages:

Adaptation to needs - families know their individual needs
Strengthening of local markets - because the refugees shop in the shop around the corner.
Cost efficiency - due to low logistical and administrative effort
Preserving dignity - self-determined shopping conveys a "feeling of normality".

This approach (the so-called "cash approach") is also in line with the latest humanitarian approaches and is widely used in Lebanon by the humanitarian community. Solidar Suisse has had good experience in implementing such cash projects for almost 5 years.
Over 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon

The presence of 1.5 million refugees - representing a quarter of the local population - is a major challenge for Lebanon and puts enormous pressure on public services in the communities. Poor Lebanese households are also suffering from deteriorating living conditions and dwindling social benefits. That's why Solidar is helping communities in southern Lebanon repair schools and hospitals or secure water supplies. This benefits both the refugee families and the Lebanese population.

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