Third Sector Awards 2018: Big Impact Award - Mercy Corps Europe

Third Sector Promotion Markel

Awarded to a project that has had a substantial impact on national or international life

Syrian refugees in Jordan, obscuring their identities because they have no documentation
Syrian refugees in Jordan, obscuring their identities because they have no documentation
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Award sponsored by CAN

Who was involved in the project?

Syrian refugees residing in Jordanian host communities face multiple daily challenges due to a lack of documentation, including the ability to access basic services: shelter, food, education and healthcare. Mercy Corps joined a consortium, funded by European Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, alongside the Danish Refugee Council and Premiere Urgence Internationale. The aim of the consortium is to support refugees to acquire civil and legal documentation, and Mercy Corps focuses on cash assistance to help the most vulnerable households obtain documentation to address their basic needs. 

What was the project?

A key challenge was ensuring that cash provided was spent on obtaining documentation, because many refugees felt they had no choice but to use the money to meet their basic needs, such as food and shelter. Mercy Corps recognised the importance of addressing these needs in order to support displaced Syrians to obtain documents, and set up a referral system connecting people with specific concerns with specialised case management partners. This allowed cash transfers to be used to obtain documentation.

What did it achieve?

Mercy Corps’ package of services, including information, cash, counselling, case assessment, follow-up and referrals, reached about 26,500 vulnerable beneficiaries. Between 50 and 70 per cent of recipients were able to acquire one or more of the documents they needed. Of those able to obtain documentation, 36 per cent had improved access to health services and 23.8 per cent to education. Deportation risks and exploitative labour incidents declined sharply, the number of out-of-school primary children dropped by half and three-quarters of households that received cash assistance reported falling household tensions.

Highly commended

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