Cash transfers offer a lifeline amid approaching winter
UNICEF’s winter assistance underway in Aleppo
“I had to spend a big portion of my savings on fixing the house and buying some new furniture.”
Maysaa, the mother of Radwan, 9, and Rimas, 5, is a housewife from Aleppo. She was displaced with her family within Aleppo city in 2013 and managed to return to her home in Tal Az-Zarazir after four years of displacement. The father passed away in 2019.
When Maysaa and her children returned to their house, they found it destroyed and empty. “I had to spend a big portion of my savings on fixing the house and buying some new furniture,” Maysaa explained.
She needs to take care of her little children and cannot work and be away from them. With her husband’s pension and some cash assistance from local charities, she manages to keep the family afloat.
In September 2022, Maysaa learned about UNICEF’s winter assistance for vulnerable families. Her family registered for it during door-to-door visits UNICEF conducted in her neighbourhood to identify eligible families for winter assistance in Aleppo.
UNICEF winter assistance, informed by evidence and lessons learned, provides unconditional cash to families with children in urban and peri-urban areas during wintertime. This assistance will help families pay for essential items they need to survive the winter. This includes fuel for heating, gas for cooking, and warm clothes and blankets.
UNICEF’s support focuses mainly on families caring for children living with severe mental or physical disabilities as well as female-headed families severely affected by several displacements.
During the 2022-2023 winter season, the registered families will receive three rounds of cash transfers. Additionally, dedicated social workers will support families and children with special needs to access the essential services they need throughout the winter.
Maysaa received her first cash transfer of US$ 60 in November. She spent the money buying winter clothes for her children and taking them for medical check-ups. She plans on spending the second payment on fuel for winter.
“The financial burdens are very heavy, especially as prices of essential items, such as food and fuel, increased. We would have never been able to face the coming winter without this cash assistance.”
This year, UNICEF aims to reach 9,500 families living in the most vulnerable and impoverished neighbourhoods in Aleppo with the multi-purpose cash for winter assistance to help them fulfil some of their basic needs. This activity is supported with funding from EU Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and Luxemburg Committee for UNICEF.