Humanitarian challenges of protracted fragility and conflict-related crises, and the more recent unprecedented migration and refugee movement around the globe underscore the need to break down the barriers between humanitarian and development work. Acute and extended crises such as in Syria have contributed to migration flows, which also highlight the need for long-term solutions in countries of destination.
Social protection is increasingly considered as a policy response in contexts of fragility and displacement. In non-fragile contexts, extensive evidence demonstrates that social protection helps reduce poverty and inequality. While establishing effective social protection in the context of protracted instability and displaced populations is more complex, it is also increasingly viewed as an essential mechanism to bridge the humanitarian-developmental divide. However, despite the increasing use of social protection in these settings, comparatively little is known from rigorous research regarding what works, and why.
In response to the Syrian crises, which led a large number of Syrian refugees to Lebanon, UNICEF, in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme and in coordination with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Lebanona, initiated a child-focused cash transfer program for displaced Syrian children in Lebanon in the 2016-2017 school year. The program, known as the “No Lost Generation” or “Min Ila” (“from/to” in Arabic), was designed to reduce financial and other obstacles to children’s school attendance, including reliance on child labor, to minimize the impact of negative coping strategies on children.
A recently produced final technical report, “Min Ila” Cash Transfer Programme for Displaced Syrian Children in Lebanon, now provides an evaluation of the Min Ila project’s effect on improving children’s health and nutrition; on lowering child engagement in household work; on improving children’s subjective well-being; and on increasing child school attendance. The report documents important positive gains on key indicators among Syrian children living in Lebanon, and was jointly prepared by UNICEF Innocenti and the American Institutes for Research.