Cash Assistance

Who is the UNHCR cash assistance for?

UNHCR provides a small amount of cash assistance to a limited number of refugees to support them in meeting the most basic of their needs. UNHCR does not provide cash assistance to asylum-seekers due to lack of funds.

How do I request cash assistance?

To request the assistance, please write to [email protected], indicating why you believe you should receive the assistance. We will ask you to fill out an online questionnaire to understand your situation and decide whether you will receive the assistance.

How often does UNHCR process refugees’ requests for cash assistance?

UNHCR processes the requests for cash assistance during a certain time of every quarter. That means you may have to wait for up to 3 months before we proceed with your request.

What happens after I request cash assistance by email?

After receiving your email, we will inform you of the time that we are going to process your request. By the time the process starts, you will receive another email that asks you to report your household’s income and expenditure over the past 3 months through an online questionnaire. You will also be required to submit a copy of your valid lease contract along with the online questionnaire.

We will not process your request for cash assistance if any of the following happens:

  • Failing to submit the questionnaire by the deadline
  • Failing to provide your valid lease contract
  • Providing invalid data or false information

ATTENTION! Please make sure that you can be reached by email and phone in case we need you to clarify some of the data you have reported or to provide more information.

To make sure that you report the correct data, we suggest that you keep the records of your household’s income, spending and balance on a daily basis. Please note that you should keep the records of your entire household in China. It does not matter whether your household member is registered with UNHCR or not. As long as you live together and manage your money together, you are considered a household for the cash assistance application. You should include all the household members’ income and expenditures in your records.

See at the bottom of this page, for an example of how to keep the records.

How would I know if I am eligible for cash assistance?

UNHCR will review the data you report through the online questionnaire and decide whether you will receive the assistance. The decision will be communicated to you by email within 4-6 weeks of your questionnaire submission.

If UNHCR decides to provide my household with cash assistance, will we receive it as long as we are in China?

No. If UNHCR decides to provide you with the assistance, you will be informed how long you will receive it for. You should request the assistance again after that period of time if you still wish to receive it. For example, if you are informed that you will receive the assistance for 1 year, then you need to request it again 1 year later if you want to continue receiving it. The Office will remind you by email when you should put in a new request.

Why am I not eligible for cash assistance?

Due to the limited funding, UNHCR can only provide cash assistance to a limited number of refugees and must focus on the most financially vulnerable and most in need of assistance. If you are not considered eligible for cash assistance, this means that your circumstances, although they may seem challenging, have been considered less difficult than those eligible. We encourage refugees to look for their own financial support.

Can UNHCR support my family back in my home country?

Unfortunately, no. The cash assistance is only provided to eligible refugees living in China.

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Related information

Table sample of expenditure record showing Date, Amount of money received or paid, who paid or received the money and how much money was left at the end of the day. The sample contains a few lines with different dates and amounts as example.