Child sensitive cash transfer and shock responsive national social protection system strengthening

provides urgent relief for Gaza families affected in the May 2021 escalation

UNICEF-SoP
cash transfer story 1
UNICEF/SoP/Anas AlBaba
23 May 2022

Making ends meet in the Gaza Strip, which has been under closure since 2007, is hard enough. But protracted conflict and violence create new setbacks in the lives of the Gaza Strip’s children.

That’s why UNICEF and its partners, the Palestinian Ministry of Social Development, and the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office, are providing child sensitive cash transfers to families with children that were affected by the escalation of hostilities in May 2021. Additionally, it is conducting a shock responsive social protection assessment to identify gaps to strengthen the national social protection system.

Moreover, vulnerable children are referred to specialist services based on their needs as part of the “Cash Plus” component, which includes child protection and psychosocial support services. Families being supported are those with damaged homes or living below poverty line and are receiving cash payments of NIS 370-1,320, depending on the number of children in the household. UNICEF has teamed up with the Ministry to support sustainable and shock responsive social protection, provide a model for mitigating potential future shocks, and maintain the continuum between humanitarian and development efforts. 

 

cash transfer story 1
UNICEF/SoP/Anas AlBaba

Radwan Dader has five small children. One of them walks with difficulty; her poor diet caused nutrient deficiencies resulting in disability. The family lives in a dark, damp basement in a Gaza City apartment that was damaged in last year’s shelling. “I am drowning in debt,” said the father. He says that the money he received from UNICEF was used to pay some of those debts and to buy meat and fruit for his children—nutritious foods they had been unable to afford for some time. Families are given cash so that they can prioritize their own needs, especially the needs of their children.

cash transfer story 1
UNICEF/SoP/Anas AlBaba

Finally, my mother bought me the pink coat that I always wanted, and I hung it on a special clothes hanger,” said Dader’s six-year-old daughter. The family has received two payments from the cash transfer program. In the future, they hope to repair the cracks in their home’s ceiling caused by last year’s bombardment. Dader’s older daughter could also use an assistive device to help her walk. We are used to receiving items that are not necessarily urgent—like cleaning supplies or flour, rice or sugar, Dader said. “What UNICEF has done allowed us to keep our dignity and gave us the freedom to do what we actually needed with the money.”

 

cash transfer story 1
UNICEF/SoP/Anas AlBaba

The four children in the Arafa family, all of them under the age of 14, are so happy to finally have coats and blankets to protect them from the cold in winter. “I got the jacket I wanted and my own blanket,” says seven-year-old Ahmad.  “I wear the jacket all day—even as I sleep—and I tell all my school friends that it's new.” Families in the Gaza Strip suffer from daily power outages, from 8-18 hours per day. With temperatures dipping below freezing at times during winter, households rely on space heaters and generators to stay warm. The Arafa family has received two cash transfers and is looking forward to a third. “I will buy a new UPS power source and lights for my children to study with,” says their mother. “The UPS we have does not give them the light they need.”