Providing a Lifeline for Ukrainian Refugee Children

Six months of implementation of UNICEF Humanitarian Cash Transfers in Slovakia

A Ukrainian boy jumps on a running track.
UNICEF/UNI396466/Le Lijour


This report explores the impacts of humanitarian cash assistance for Ukrainian refugee children in Slovakia, covering 3 cash schemes:

  • The Material Needs Benefit programme: a benefit targeting all materially deprived households registered for humanitarian cash support through UNHCR. The assistance was delivered monthly from June to September 2022. 
  • The Carer’s Benefit (for children): a benefit targeting households caring for children with specific needs, i.e. a severe disability or medical condition, as assessed by UNICEF’s partner TENENET. The assistance was delivered monthly from June to November 2022. 
  • The  Cash for Child Development and Education programme: a one-off benefit targeting all households with children aged 0–17 years. The transfer aimed to support the education and care of Ukrainian children.


Some of the key findings include:

  • Regular and predictable financial support was essential for beneficiaries, providing them with financial security and preventing negative coping strategies such as  cutting down on food and essential goods and services. UNICEF cash assistance accounted for 40–50% of the budget of households with children with disabilities.
  • State housing support was essential for households, contributing significantly to the overall effectiveness of humanitarian cash support, as  it gave beneficiaries the flexibility to use their available income on essential goods, mainly food.
  • UNICEF cash assistance improved refugee  households’ access to nutritious, high quality  food. Families with children on special diets  could buy better quality and more diverse  food and reduce their dependency on food  banks.
  • UNICEF cash assistance helped  households to cover out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, especially those with children  needing specialized care.
UNICEF and Pontis Foundation
Publication date