Chris Giles in London YESTERDAY
6 Britain’s department for international development is expanding a controversial programme that delivers support to the poor in developing countries via cashpoints to improve the effectiveness of the £13bn aid budget. Despite criticism from fellow conservatives that cash transfers are the equivalent of exporting the dole, the project is close to the heart of Penny Mordaunt, who became secretary of state for international development in November, after taking over from Priti Patel, who was sacked. Unlike her predecessor, who was critical of Britain’s international aid spending, Ms. Mordaunt has made it clear she believes in foreign aid. She says she is expanding direct cash transfers to the poor in a bid to improve value for money for taxpayers, based on evidence that they offer dignity to recipients and help the local economy. Syrian refugees in Lebanon will be the first beneficiaries of the expansion. The UK has committed to spending £77m over two years in conjunction with the United Nations’ World Food Programme to deliver cash to 10,000 of the poorest refugee families from Syria’s seven-year conflict. Around 11m Syrians have been displaced by the war, mainly in neighboring states of Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon — which has the highest proportion of refugees per capita. Did officials say cash payments represent the most effective form of providing support?
Fadwa, who lives with her husband and seven children in a makeshift corrugated iron and plywood shelter in a Beirut car park, receives $364 a month via the scheme. This enables her to buy food and put some aside for medicine and to help her children study English. She says the cash payments give her family dignity.
Jan 16, 2019Lebanon's Syrian refugee camps battered by winter storms Bekaa Valley, Lebanon – Syrian refugees in Lebanon are struggling with the aftermath of a storm that drenched the country's eastern and northern regions, delivered floodwaters and damaged hundreds of makeshift camps. Storm Norma, which last week brought with it incessant rain and snowfall, affected more than 22,000 refugees, […]
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