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Humanitarian Cash Transfers and Financial Inclusion

Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan receive more than one quarter of their humanitarian assistance in the form of cash and vouchers. Leveraging this aid delivery to connect refugees to the formal financial system requires the host country to have widespread digital financial ecosystem in place and coordination among governments, aid agencies, and financial service providers.

This Working Paper presents the cases of Jordan and Lebanon and highlights some of the key challenges these actors face in linking cash transfers to financial inclusion more broadly. This paper will examine why the potential pathway to financial inclusion has not yet materialized in these two countries, outline models for strengthening links between cash and voucher assistance (CVA) programs, and address how efficient and effective CVA programs could be created.

CGAP is a global partnership of more than 30 leading development organizations that works to advance the lives of poor people through financial inclusion. Using action-oriented research, we test, learn and share knowledge intended to help build inclusive and responsible financial systems that move people out of poverty, protect their economic gains and advance broader development goals. We research and experiment to achieve proof of concept and extract lessons that can be built to scale by our partners, who apply our insights in the marketplace.

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