Pinning Down Moving Targets

Whilst most humanitarian responses across the globe have had to navigate the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, in Lebanon the challenges related to COVID-19 emerged on top of an unprecedented protest movement, political instability, a rapid deterioration of the economy and the increasingly protracted displacement of Syrian refugees in the country. This report assesses collective learning and decision-making on the adaptations of selected multi-purpose cash and protection cash programmes in Lebanon in light of the economic challenges and COVID-19 response from late 2019 until mid-2020.

In this difficult time for many people in Lebanon, cash assistance has proven effective in meeting essential needs. Given the protracted nature of Syrians’ displacement and the increasingly deteriorating living conditions for Lebanese, response actors should view cash assistance as a medium-term response that can reduce poverty and vulnerability by transferring resources to households. Based on 40 in-depth interviews with cash implementers, coordinators and donors, this report lays out the key adaptations made to cash programmes, the conditions that enabled or impeded these adaptations, the challenges and opportunities for accountability and inclusion of beneficiary feedback, before outlining key priorities and next steps for cash programming in Lebanon.