Multi-Purpose cash transfers for vulnerable refugees improve Livelihoods in Kyangwali settlement

A beneficiary expressed happiness after receiving money on her phone


Uganda continues to be home to over 1.5 million people on the move, mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan and other neighbouring countries. Political unrest, insurgencies and tribal wars force the millions of people to seek refuge as a strategy to rebuild their lives.

The crisis has been exuberated by the COVID-19 pandemic for a majority with no source of income, productive assets and hardly any skills on arrival. For many, resettlement is extremely difficult, and they lead miserable lives.

To respond to the situation and restore their dignity and hope, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), together with the Uganda Red Cross Society, provides monthly Multi-Purpose cash assistance (MPCA) to refugee households in the Kyangwali settlement under the Uganda Cash Consortium (UCC) led by the Danish Refugee Council. The Directorate-General for the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO).  

LWF staff verifying one of the target refugees in Kyangwali settlement


The intervention seeks to improve the ability of highly vulnerable refugee households to meet their non-food basic needs, increase their resilience and establish a protective environment through the people-centred and basic needs approach. The project utilises the Minimum Expenditure Basket (MEB) for non-food items in Uganda to determine the transfer value to targeted PoCs. Cash Assistance is provided every month for eight months; they are giving households leverage to allocate resources to the most pressing needs within their homes, which, in due process, improves their standards of living.

In addition to Multi-Purpose Cash Transfers, the project provides basic financial and digital literacy training to ensure refugees can ably make sound financial decisions for better planning and utilisation of the assistance rendered to them while also increasing digital uptake and payments by persons of concern and phasing out sessions.

Since May 2021, LWF has supported 3,237 households with 12,732 individuals with monthly multipurpose cash assistance as of March 2022 in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement. Each individual received 35,000 UGX (approx. 9 EUR) per month to address their basic needs.

86% of the households, as per the December/January post-distribution monitoring (PDM)  2022  report, revealed that cash assistance meets their basic needs.  ‘’I had no beddings before I received the service, but I’ve been able to buy two mattresses, and three pairs of bedsheets for my the entire household says one beneficiary

“I bought clothes for members of my household and also bought poles which I used to renovate my house’’ says another beneficiary

Another beneficiary confirms: “On arrival, I had to start taking care of the whole family because my partner could no longer do his usual casual work to fend for the family after a motorcycle accident in the Democratic Republic of Congo and sustaining serious injuries. With the cash assistance received, I managed to build a house for my family.”

People of Concern are appreciative and satisfied with the project. All the steps involved, from identification and selection, response and feedback to concerns raised, referrals, the various training conducted to build capacities for effective use of the cash assistance and linkage to other livelihood services.  Above all, the cash support gives them the dignity of choice, and it is conveniently distributed through safe and dignified mechanisms. The cash assistance also helped increase the purchasing power of the vulnerable assisted individuals who know best what they need to improve their families' livelihoods and wellbeing.