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DISPLAYING RESULTS 76 to 100 out of 139
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Promoting Diverse Volunteer Networks

 

Cairo is rich in human resources. A large volunteer pool composed both of university students and refugees and asylum seekers seeking experience, training and activity. There are huge benefits of taking advantage of this pool. According to one service provider:

“The people we have who are doing the workshops are community people. That makes all the difference – if a guy from their church says, “Please, I’m going to have a workshop, please come.’ That’s what I recommend. Recognize that people who are refugees and asylum-seekers themselves have plenty of capacity, and use that. It’s harder, but you’ll get more participation.”

Training student and refugee volunteers in workshop planning, outreach, logistical support or facilitation can be a mutually beneficial way of building both their skills and organizational capacity for the expansion of information dissemination efforts.

For more information, please see the working paper is entitled "Urban refugee protection in Cairo, Egypt: the role of information, communication and technology", published by UNHCR's New Issues in Refugee Research. You can find it online at http://www.unhcr.org/4fbf4c469.html

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Egypt
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Community Integration

      unhcrs_policy_on_refugee_protection_and_solutions_in_urban_areas.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 4.24 MB

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Fun Workshops

 

In addition to meetings, many service providers including UNHCR regularly put on workshops for refugees and asylum seekers. Topics in 2011-12 have included life after the revolution, psychosocial issues, migration to Israel, domestic violence, conflict resolution, community awareness, health, family planning, sexually transmitted diseases, community and personal safety, refugee rights advocacy and human rights. Such workshops have reached thousands of refugee and asylum seeker participants.

Meetings and workshops were identified by several research participants as a cornerstone of good information provision in the city, especially when held in “the neighborhoods where refugees live.” A participant who regularly puts on such events suggested that their efficacy and attendance numbers can be enhanced by taking a creative approach to their planning, as he does: “Theatre, drama, role play – I think that’s what works. Make it fun, make it something [people] want to participate in.”

For more information, please see the working paper is entitled "Urban refugee protection in Cairo, Egypt: the role of information, communication and technology", published by UNHCR's New Issues in Refugee Research. You can find it online at http://www.unhcr.org/4fbf4c469.html

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Egypt
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Education / Community Integration

      9789241548922_eng.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 950 KB
      forced_labour_human_trafficking_and_mental_health.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 2.84 MB

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Creative Community Meetings

 

Refugees who have formed community-based organizations or are employed by service providers often spread information informally. This becomes increasingly effective as they become known as trusted and knowledgeable in their communities.

The creative efforts being made to improve meeting-based communication and successful interagency cooperation in doing so is illustrated by the evolution of UNHCR community meetings, which the organization started holding regularly with refugee groups following the 2011 revolution. After initial meetings were dominated by requests by participants for resettlement, UNHCR and several service providers took a different approach, expanding them into a series of meetings: an initial, participatory identification by refugee participants of community (rather than individual) problems and their roots; a second meeting to discuss possible solutions; and a third meeting attended by key invited partners where solutions are proposed and action plans set, with the whole process documented and reported back to respective communities.

For more information, please see the working paper is entitled "Urban refugee protection in Cairo, Egypt: the role of information, communication and technology", published by UNHCR's New Issues in Refugee Research. You can find it online at http://www.unhcr.org/4fbf4c469.html

Region: Africa
Country: Egypt
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Community Integration

      urttwebinarcbp.docx      Doc: Word      Size: 263 KB

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GIS Mapping

 

In an urban setting, persons of concern are often dispersed over a wide area. Groups or individuals with specific needs are more difficult to reach and are therefore easily neglected, especially as these individuals may not come forward to seek assistance from UNHCR due to lack of transport or lack of information.

 

UNHCR Nairobi started has been using Geographic Information System (GIS) as a tool for community based protection in order to map where refugees live, utilize services and encounter protection risks since 2006. A digital map of densely refugee populated areas in Nairobi was created, up to building level and this was populated using landmarks, roads an other points of interest which are constantly updated in order to get a clear picture of all the refugee living locations.

 

The GIS project works under the assumptions that refugees and asylum seekers can freely choose the areas in which they reside and also that these people of concern choose the areas in which they live rationally to minimize any discomfort that they may feel or face.

It is a useful tool that can be used to identify certain trends in the community and from which the Community based protection mechanisms can then be geared to address.

 

Through the GIS information in ProGres and in combination with other data recorded, it is possible to identify incidents that go contrary to the existing presumption or “anomalies” in the living situations; meaning individuals living together despite “contradicting” characteristics, for example, a Somali Christian and a Somali Muslim living in the same house. In the general refugee population such groups live in the same neighborhoods but not together. Without the GIS project these “anomalies” could not be identified, investigated and recorded.

Region: Africa
Country: Kenya
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Other

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Youth to Youth Support

 

The joint needs assessment conducted by UNHCR in November 2012 in collaboration with UNICEF and WFP has showed that psycho-social support for children is one of the top priorities. The engagement of Syrian young men and women  who are currently not employed, can be used in the provision of recreational and psycho-social support to the children. Using youth as outreach workers for children is recommended as a more effective way of reaching out to the traumatized children.

Syrians who suffer from distress, trauma and other post crisis psychological issues need to be targeted by several types of psycho-social support activities (group support, individual support, counselling, micro-grant community activities etc.). Ensuring positive activities and meaningful use of time, as well as peer support systems are very critical for Syrian youth who have lost their regular routines and many of whom are out of school until the start of the next school year. 

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Syrian Arab Republic
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Mental Health/Psychosocial

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Creativity Based Community Centers

 

Urban community centers complement micro grants projects and play a critical role in providing safe places and social support for Syrian communities in Egypt. Activities implemented under the umbrella of those centers are:

  1. Gardening: small plots of land in front of the community center will be planted and landscaped;
  2. Art Classes: healing through the arts, painting, coloring, crafts, etc.
  3. Youth Newspaper: Tadamon will provide training on how to write a story, layout and design. Later on, a youth group will launch a publication about the Syrian community in Egypt.
  4. Community Theater: Tadamon will manage a community theater for youth project to let youth express themselves through drama. Young Syrians are interested in presenting their experience inside Syria in addition to the challenges faced as a refugee community.
  5. Interactive play: interactive education classes for children between 3 and 6 years old will be organized.
  6. Story-telling and doll-making classes: teenage and older girls will tell stories and younger girls will envisage the characters through creating dolls of them.

In addition to the abovementioned activities, the community center will be providing a place for organizing skills development workshops. This capacity building activity will be implemented either in coordination with the self-reliance project or directly by some community-based initiatives or through the micro grants project.

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Egypt
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Community Integration

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Parenting Classes for Child Protection

 

Assistance for children and women in need of protection in urban environments are promoted through activities such as community awareness workshops about child rearing and the ongoing raising of the awareness of community leaders. Education is provided in the form of parenting education, one-on-one counseling, and group support for parents who may be at risk of neglecting or abusing their children. Community-based assessments of children/families suspected of having protection issues as well as case-management and provision of psychosocial support to children are part of the on-going work of the project. Additional support is given to children with disabilities via school placement and family support.

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Egypt
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Child Protection

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Crisis Intervention

 

UNHCR and partners in Egypt also implement comprehensive crisis intervention for urban issues arising due to eviction, detention, serious mental illness, suicide, domestic or community violence etc. The intervention includes referral and accompaniment to mental health, medical, legal, human rights and education services, in addition to community-based support groups for women, men, youth, SGBV, parenting, support to families with members with disabilities etc.

 

In order to enhance cohesion and avoid friction within the Syrian community and also with Egyptians, conflict mediation for family, neighborhoods or community issues are also conducted. Sport clubs for children and youth including both Egyptian and Refugee youth are set up as well as the provision of art workshops for children and youth including those with disabilities.

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Egypt
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Mental Health/Psychosocial / Health / Community Outreach

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Psychological Services For Trauma Victims

 

Syrian refugees in urban and rural Egypt are recovering from the trauma and distress caused by experiencing violence, flight from their country, and serious economic decline.

UNHCR intends to aid Syrian refugees in Egypt to overcome the trauma and distress caused by the experience of violence and the flight from their home country as well as in some cases serious economic hardship. This objective is attained through the provision of medium to long-term psycho-social care and community support.

 

Currently, community-based psychosocial workers provide psycho-social and mental health support to Syrian refugees in accordance with their culture and traditions in some areas of Greater Cairo. This project is implemented by a UNHCR partner, Terre des Hommes, through the Psycho-Social Services and Training Institute in Cairo (PSTIC). The proposed action will also be of benefit to the above mentioned partners by increasing their current capacities.

 

PSTIC psycho-social workers, identified by the refugee community, undergo intensive 9-month technical and on-the-job training before graduating as certified psychosocial workers. The main services provided by PSTIC are those of community based psycho-social support, community activities and the provision of support for women and children in need of protection.

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Egypt
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Mental Health/Psychosocial

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Public Information Campaigns

 

The city of Arica, in Chile, has been the most recent one in August 2011 to implement projects towards local integration with urban refugee communities though a special agreement signed with the municipality. This particular agreement seeks to develop an inclusive social policy with civil society organizations regarding asylum seekers accessing the Chilean Northern border and UNHCR population of concern. Also, to promote local integration, in line with their urban refugee policy, UNHCR has implemented public information campaigns in the region to combat xenophobia and discrimination. These campaigns and initiatives include the " Shoes Campaign" (a multimedia campaign that puts individuals in the shoes of refugees) to in all countries of the region, the Living in Solidarity Campaign in Ecuador, or the “Convivir Con Tó! Es Vivir con Tolerancia” (“To coexist with you is to live with tolerance”) in the Dominican Republic.

Region: Americas
Country: Chile
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Community Integration

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Employment Opportunity Programs

 

UNHCR supports the efforts of urban refugees to become self-reliant, either through regular employment or self-employment activities. In the job placement and production areas, local governments and civil society, particularly the business sector, play an important role.

 

In Costa Rica and Argentina UNHCR is implementing a “Job Opportunity Programme” and a “Solidarity Companies Program”, respectively, to strengthen links with private companies for the gainful employment of refugees. In Ecuador, UNHCR implemented the “Productive Entrepreneurship Program” to enhance refugee’s capacities to set-up their own business. In Brazil, refugees are incorporated into vocational training through an initiative of the National Business Association (SENAI) and the National Trade Association (SENAC). In Argentina, shoe industry unions, car wash companies, construction and metallurgy unions incorporate refugees into their training courses. In Chile several partnerships have been established between the implementing agencies and private companies that generate a significant number of jobs, while in Ecuador the refugees have access to a municipal training programme called ‘CONQUITO’. Also in Ecuador, in the city of Cuenca, the municipal center Casa de la Solidaridad, offers vocational training courses to the local population and refugees, to facilitate the local integration process.

Region: Americas
Countries: Argentina / Brazil / Chile / Costa Rica / Ecuador
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Livelihoods

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Creative Community Engagement

As creative examples of engaging with communities, in Colombia, participatory assessments are used for planning purposes.  Dialogues with displaced women resulted in recommendations for action in the field of protection and solutions.

In Mexico, UNHCR conducted a survey that was advertised online in order to reach out to the refugee population in the country. In Costa Rica, the office is undertaking an on-going Participatory Assessment, including questionnaires and focus groups with an AGDM perspective. In Panama, the office undertook a joint participatory assessment with government authorities, publishing results in a joint document and a joint follow-up of the findings. In Ecuador, the radio program “El Rio Habla” has proved to be a successful way of communication among and between refugee communities.

Moreover, the establishment of community centres is one of the recommendations on the Urban Refugee Policy. In the Americas, the House of Rights in Colombia, Costa Rica or Mexico have proven to be a successful practice and a place where refugees and host communities come together and have access to institutions and livelihoods programs such as microcredit or vocational training.

Region: Americas
Countries: Ecuador / Costa Rica / Colombia
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Community Integration

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Mobile Registration Units

 

In the Americas, registration systems are usually centralized in urban areas and capital cities, meaning that asylum seekers and refugees have to travel to the capital to ensure their registration.

 

In Ecuador, the enhanced registration exercise of 2009 and the current registration brigades to border areas ensure that registration is accessible to persons who cannot travel to main cities. Also, the fact that migration offices are located in other cities other than Quito, such as Lago Agrio, facilitates registration of persons of concern.

 

In Venezuela, registration mobile brigades to border areas have also taken place by UNHCR and migration authorities in a joint effort to facilitate registration access. In the Dominican Republic, new android technology has recently been used by UNHCR to carry out a census of persons of concern.

Region: Americas
Countries: Ecuador / Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Registration

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Border Reception Facilities

UNHCR has established partnerships in order to monitor the borders, undertake routine trainings to border officials and distribute information on RSD procedures at entry points. UNHCR's implementing partners, both in capitals and in border areas, are able to distribute dedicated material and legal assistance when required.

There are a number of creative and innovative ways to ensure that all asylum seekers can benefit from adequate reception facilities: UNHCR in Tapachula (near the Mexican border with Guatemala), in coordination with national migration offices, has translated information on how to access the RSD procedures in Mexico in several languages, to ensure that also the needs of extra continental asylum seekers are addressed and they are adequately informed of their rights.

In Costa Rica, UNHCR signed a special agreement with the Office of the Ombudsperson in order to host an implementing partner staff to monitor the southern border with Panama, and provide support to asylum seekers arriving in the country.

Region: Americas
Countries: Guatemala / Chile
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Registration

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Literacy and Vocational Training

The existing Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Technical Education and Vocational Training supports a program of literacy classes with the Ministry of Education.  The objective is to  help refugees increase their level of self reliance. These national programmes have been extended in 2010 in order to benefit to a larger number of refugees, and in 2011, the MoU will be extended to other urban areas, such as Mukalla or Taiz.

In parallel, vocational training in business development, microfinance and marketing have allowed refugees to develop their own businesses.

Given the important unsatisfied demand, these programmes will be further extended  to develop the independence of refugees and diminish their need to rely on UNHCR assistance.

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Yemen
Organizations: Government / UN agency
Sector: Education

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Youth Education

UNHCR has supported scholarships for 30 students in the university in addition to 26 DAFI, the annual German Albert Einstein refugee scholarships for tertiary education.

UNHCR also targets the youth through a number of initiatives including community centers with skills training and recreational activities, youth clubs, language and computer training and various vocational training and literacy programs.

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Yemen
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Education

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Supplemental Education

Attadhamon, UNHCR’s local partner in Aden, retuned the children who attend literacy classes to the formal education through coordination with the Office of Education and by providing them with school packs and uniforms. The school packs were provided to the children from vulnerable families identified by other UNHCR community services partners. Attadhamon and ADRA support English and Arabic classes for unaccompanied minors so that they may be enrolled in schools and vocational training courses organized by other IPs.

UNHCR partner, IDF, in Sana'a is supporting refugees who run community centers where they practice several educational and cultural activities.

UNHCR local partner, ADPSN, provides youth with disabilities with vocational training and assistive devices. The early intervention program targets the children with disabilities.

UNHCR Sanaá also supports Save the Children’s program which  targets four  government schools in high density refugee suburbs. The program includes working with teachers and social workers, local authorities, religious leaders, committees and student councils to create a safe and receptive environment for refugee and Yemeni children.

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Yemen
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Education

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Primary School Support

UNHCR constructed four classes and a shaded area in the local primary school in Aden where the majority of refugees are enrolled. A total of 14 primary schools were identified in Aden and Sana'a and will be provided with lap top equipment  and school materials with thanks to support/funding received from Sheikha Fatima Foundation.

UNHCR supports the salaries of 42 teachers in Basateen to improve the reception and absorption capacity of the primary school for enrolling refugee and host community children. Also WFP supports the school feeding of 2,700 children in the primary school of Basateen.

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Yemen
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Education / Child Protection

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Access to Education for Everyone

Yemen is party to 1951 Convention, which make it accord to refugees the same treatment as is accorded to nationals with respect to primary education, as well as where possible secondary education. Refugee children are equally able to attend local primary and secondary schools together with Yemeni children.

Primary education is free of charge also for refugees and school books are provided by the Ministry of Education. The refugees follow the Yemeni curriculum and sit for national exams in primary and secondary schools.

In coordination with the local department of illiteracy elimination, UNHCR’s partner, Attadhamon, supports literacy classes for women using the primary school after school hours, where the large majority of participants are women, eager to improve their abilities in order to help their own families, and at the same time increase their chances of obtaining employment and respect in their society.

In 2010, children in Mukalla have access to local schools regardless of having birth certificates due to the advocacy done by UNHCR in cooperation with and through the understanding of the Ministry of Education.

ADRA in Sana’a developed literacy and language classes to enable refugees to learn Arabic so as to later on attend public school.

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Yemen
Organizations: Government / UN agency
Sector: Education

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Assistance to Persons with Special Needs

UNHCR has made efforts to identify vulnerable cases through a profiling exercise using Heightened Risk Identification Tool in order to better understand refugees’ caseload and their specific needs.

Also UNHCR through partners has established and identified refugee committees to better communicate to the scattered community. These committees operate from community centers and drop-in centers and together with IPs provide psychosocial and legal counseling to vulnerable refugees especially women and young girls who have survived SGBV.  The counseling includes  free of charge information about rights, procedures, services, new regulations, policies and other counseling options.

UNHCR signed an agreement with ADPSN, a local implementer, in 2009 to enable refugees with disabilities to have easy access to rehabilitation services, such as physiotherapy, assistive devices and vocational training. The center also conducts training on early intervention for staff in the camp and urban area of Basateen as well as training on awareness of disability for school staff and courses on physiotherapy for medical staff.  Another feature of the program in the provision of  holistic programs to support unaccompanied minors  -- accommodation, basic needs, formal and non-formal education.

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Yemen
Organizations: NGO/International Organization / UN agency
Sector: Community Outreach

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Community Based Approach

UNHCR uses a community based-approach to ascertain and address issues related to the refugee community. Changes are not imposed but rather are initiated together with the urban refugee population. UNHCR promotes community structures through committees to address problems through certain mechanisms such as community mobilizers. A network of community mobilizers selected from among the community is involved in outreach aimed at increasing mobilization and participation. Community mobilizers have increased participation and ownership through training various groups and committees to facilitate refugees’ activities in diverse sectors. Monthly coordination meetings with representatives of refugees and local authorities give the opportunity for refugees’ voices to be heard. 

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Yemen
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Community Outreach

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Antiretroviral Therapy Support

Refugees with HIV/AIDS in Malaysia are able to benefit from free antiretroviral therapy (ART) provided by the government and UNHCR supports costs that are not covered. All of the potential challenges in taking life-long medications on a daily basis are heightened for urban refugees:   language barriers, difficulties affording and accessing transport, poor nutrition, fear of arrest and harassment when moving to access services, and stigma and discrimination. Sungai Buloh Hospital, UNHCR, and Malaysia Care have implemented education and assessments before refugees begin ART. Individual counseling is given to develop strategies to increase chances of adherence. 

Region: Asia and the Pacific
Country: Malaysia
Organizations: Government / UN agency
Sector: Health

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Psychosocial Support Network

Though national legislation provides refugees access to the public health care system in South Africa, mental health care is not given first priority in the overburdened system. Providers also do not typically conceptualize the specific issues affecting refugees and asylum seekers such as trauma, language and cultural difference, and barriers to access services. UNHCR and its implementing partners—Refugee Social Services in Durban, Jesuit Refugee Services in Johannesburg and Pretoria, Refugee Aid Organization in Pretoria and Catholic Welfare and Development in Cape Town—have developed Psychosocial Support networks to better provide direct psychosocial support to refugee and asylum seekers. The networks have provided direct material and legal assistance and mental health training for staff.

UNHCR also organized two workshops in 2009 targeting social workers involved in refugee and asylum seeker social assistance. The aim of both workshops was to make participants familiar with the particular psycho-social issues facing refugees and asylum seekers, the relevant counseling skills, self-care strategies, and relevant resources. Implementing partners report that psychosocial support for refugees and asylum seekers has increased and been incorporated into existing programs. 

Region: Africa
Country:
Organizations: Jesuit Refugee Service / Refugee Social Services / Refugee Aid Organization / UN agency
Sector: Mental Health/Psychosocial

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Mapping Refugee Residences & Protection Incidents

In response to the lack of proper address system in Nairobi, UNHCR undertook a mapping and information gathering project to better understand where refugees and asylum seekers are living. Registration and protection clerks identified refugee addresses and locations of incidents through interviews. 6,000 individuals and 200 incidents were recorded. The collected information has been used to develop community based protection interventions and better targeting of refugees and asylum seekers based on knowledge of where they live. 

Region: Africa
Country: Kenya
Organization: UN agency
Sector: Protection

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Financial Assistance via ATMs

The largest project of UNHCR Syria, the Financial Assistance Programme provided cash grants to over 36,000 refugees to cover accommodation expenses. UNHCR has established a partnership with a private bank to issue ATM cards to refugees. Each month, UNHCR channels funds through the bank and informs refugees by SMS messages when they can withdraw funds. The ATM approach is an innovate response to the needs of urban refugees and is an effective means to handle a large-scale project.

Advantages of the ATM approach include that it is the most efficient and dignified method of dispersing cash to a large group of beneficiaries, it requires less logistics and overhead cost, it provides UNHCR more security and control of the process, and the service can be accessed even in areas without a UNHCR presence.  The ATM approach has the strong support of the refugee community for its sense of normalcy and dignity and the ability to access assistance at their convenience. Positive protection impacts on family stability, school attendance, and psycho-social wellbeing have been seen. 

Region: Middle East and North Africa
Country: Syrian Arab Republic
Organizations: Private Sector / UN agency
Sector: Material Needs

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