Cash Assistance Programme

1 December 2018

UNHCR’s old cash assistance programme ends on December 31, 2018. A new programme focused on supporting only extremely vulnerable asylum-seekers will begin on January 1, 2019.


Does this mean UNHCR has stopped giving cash support completely?

No. UNHCR’s current cash assistance programme will come to an end on December 31st, 2018. The new program, which begins January 1, 2019, will focus only on giving to asylum-seekers and refugees with conditions that severely impact their ability to perform daily functions. Additionally, after an assessment, it will give cash assistance only for a limited, specific period of time.


How does UNHCR expect me to support myself or my children?

UNHCR understands that this change will not be easy. We remain committed to supporting you by advocating for your fundamental rights. We will still issue UNHCR cards, work with Living Water Community, assist in situations of emergency, provide psychological and legal aid, and work on more lasting solutions to better your community.


How will UNHCR decide who to assist with cash in 2019?

UNHCR’s new system will only be based on severe need. It will prioritize those with conditions that severely impact their ability to perform daily functions. Its criteria will not be based on gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, marital status, number of persons in household, whether you are an asylum seeker or a refugee, or the date you arrived in Trinidad and Tobago.


How do I know if I will be eligible for the new 2019 programme?

All registered refugees and asylum-seekers are eligible for assessment under the new programme. However, your case will be assessed according to the new criteria. The new programme will prioritize those with conditions that severely impact their ability to perform daily functions. As the new programme is independent of the former one, you may or may not be eligible for it. Assessment for eligibility for the new programme will begin in January 2019. At that time, more information about the programme and evaluation procedure will be available.


Why is this happening?

UNHCR is adjusting its cash assistance program throughout the Caribbean. This is due to limited resources globally, and the rapidly growing number of people seeking asylum in the Caribbean.


Isn’t it UNHCR’s job to give me cash support?

Cash assistance is a benefit provided by UNHCR. It is not a right. Additionally, it is affected by the availability of resources and the number of applicants. This is why UNHCR must ensure those most in need of assistance receive it.


When will the new programme begin?

The new programme will begin on January 1, 2019.


I still have questions. I also have feedback.

Contact UNHCR at [email protected].

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