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Implications of encampment for the potential of Cash Based Transfer assistance

de Bruin, Nephele LU (2017) VBRM15 20171
Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety
Abstract
This study explores the implications of an encampment policy -
criminalising refugees’ mobility beyond the borders of a camp - for
the potential of Cash Based Transfer assistance in protracted refugee
situations. As the success of Cash Based Transfer assistance implies
market availability and access to commodities, and certain interaction
between the host community and refugee population, it is argued to be
in conflict with what an encampment policy entails. Being a rather
unexplored but emerging phenomenon, this study scrutinizes the case
of a Cash Based Transfer pilot in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, in Tanzania,
initiated by United Nations World Food Programme in December 2016.
The findings, based on 50 interviews carried out in the... (More)
This study explores the implications of an encampment policy -
criminalising refugees’ mobility beyond the borders of a camp - for
the potential of Cash Based Transfer assistance in protracted refugee
situations. As the success of Cash Based Transfer assistance implies
market availability and access to commodities, and certain interaction
between the host community and refugee population, it is argued to be
in conflict with what an encampment policy entails. Being a rather
unexplored but emerging phenomenon, this study scrutinizes the case
of a Cash Based Transfer pilot in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, in Tanzania,
initiated by United Nations World Food Programme in December 2016.
The findings, based on 50 interviews carried out in the camp and
neighbouring villages, suggest that Cash Based Transfer assistance is
beneficial for refugees, as it provides them with decision-making
power over their own consumption in addition to being profitable for
the local economy in the host community. However, because of
Tanzania’s encampment policy, the Cash Based Transfer programme also
seems to lead to a market interdependency that is rather precarious
and possibly troublesome. It shows that as long as an encampment
policy exists, the refugee will be an economic actor under the Cash
Based Transfer programme vulnerable to exploitation, both in or
outside the camp. Furthermore, the implementation of Cash Based
Transfer assistance is expected to have implications for the
encampment policy, as the host community becomes more dependent on
humanitarian aid and therefore refugee presence. Finally, the case of
Nyarugusu Refugee Camp shows that the implementation of CBT assistance
in encampment circumstances requires monitoring of the perceptions
and views of those involved. Only by doing so, will it be possible to
react to unintended consequences, such as increased illegal mobility
and tensions based on rising prices. (Less)
Popular Abstract
This study scrutinizes the Cash Based Transfer pilot of UN World Food Programme in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, in Tanzania, to explore the implications of an encampment policy - criminalising refugees’ mobility beyond the borders of a camp - for the potential of Cash Based Transfer assistance in long term displacement circumstances.

In humanitarian crisis, international organizations are increasingly moving to Cash Based Transfer assistance, rather than giving out food or other items, allowing those who receive it to decide how they want to spend it, based on what their needs and preferences are. However, the success of a Cash Based Transfer programme implies market availability and access and therefore a certain level of mobility of both... (More)
This study scrutinizes the Cash Based Transfer pilot of UN World Food Programme in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, in Tanzania, to explore the implications of an encampment policy - criminalising refugees’ mobility beyond the borders of a camp - for the potential of Cash Based Transfer assistance in long term displacement circumstances.

In humanitarian crisis, international organizations are increasingly moving to Cash Based Transfer assistance, rather than giving out food or other items, allowing those who receive it to decide how they want to spend it, based on what their needs and preferences are. However, the success of a Cash Based Transfer programme implies market availability and access and therefore a certain level of mobility of both sellers and buyers. This is not always the case in for instance refugee camps in countries where, in alignment with a so-called encampment policy, refugees are prohibited to move outside camp areas.

Being a rather unexplored but emerging phenomenon, this study explores what the implications are of an encampment policy for the potential of Cash Based Transfer assistance, by looking at the Cash Based Transfer pilot in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, in Tanzania, initiated by United Nations World Food Programme in December 2016. 50 interviews were conducted with refugees, market committee members and refugee representatives in the camp as well as with farmers, business people, village leaders and local government representatives in neighbouring villages.

The results suggest that Cash Based Transfer assistance is beneficial for
refugees, as it provides them with decision-making power over their own consumption in addition to being profitable for the local economy in the host community. However, because of the encampment regulations, the Cash Based Transfer programme also seems to lead to a market interdependency that is rather precarious and possibly troublesome. The market price in the refugee market has increased since the implementation of the pilot, and is higher compared to local markets in the area. Subsequently, due to the inability to move outside the camp, refugees are increasingly experiencing the limits of their bargaining power, which could lead to tensions between refugees and villagers or induce illegal movement to other local markets. Despite a more open attitude in the host community towards refugees, when they receive cash, it seems that as long as an encampment policy is in place the refugee will be an economic actor vulnerable to exploitation.

Furthermore, since the encampment policy restricts refugees to work and generate supply themselves they largely depend on an external actor, which has led to concerns from the side of the host community – particularly now, given harvest losses experienced in the region due to changing weather patterns. Nevertheless, the rising demand encourages businesses and farmers to produce for what is generally considered a stable demand. Yet, this contradicts the aim of Tanzania’s political agenda to restrict integration of refugees in the Tanzanian community and to encourage their return or repatriation. Therefore, as dependency on humanitarian aid seems to grow in the host community, a Cash Based Transfer programme might in the long term also have implications for the aim and future of the encampment policy itself.

Overall, this study shows that implementing a Cash Based Transfer programme in long term refugee situations, subjected to an encampment policy, can lead to precarious dependencies and contradictions with long lasting policies. Therefore, it shows that for a successful Cash Based Transfer programme in encampment circumstances, humanitarian organizations like UN World Food Programme are to invest in monitoring of not only market prices and availability, but also the views and perceptions of those involved or affected. Only by doing so, will it be possible to react to unintended consequences, such as decreasing governmental support, increased illegal movement and tensions based on rising market prices. (Less)
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author
de Bruin, Nephele LU
supervisor
organization
course
VBRM15 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Cash Based Transfer assistance, encampment policy, refugee camps, Tanzania
language
English
id
8922396
date added to LUP
2017-08-22 11:20:11
date last changed
2017-08-22 11:20:11
@misc{8922396,
  abstract     = {This study explores the implications of an encampment policy -
criminalising refugees’ mobility beyond the borders of a camp - for
the potential of Cash Based Transfer assistance in protracted refugee
situations. As the success of Cash Based Transfer assistance implies
market availability and access to commodities, and certain interaction
between the host community and refugee population, it is argued to be
in conflict with what an encampment policy entails. Being a rather
unexplored but emerging phenomenon, this study scrutinizes the case
of a Cash Based Transfer pilot in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, in Tanzania,
initiated by United Nations World Food Programme in December 2016.
The findings, based on 50 interviews carried out in the camp and
neighbouring villages, suggest that Cash Based Transfer assistance is
beneficial for refugees, as it provides them with decision-making
power over their own consumption in addition to being profitable for
the local economy in the host community. However, because of
Tanzania’s encampment policy, the Cash Based Transfer programme also
seems to lead to a market interdependency that is rather precarious
and possibly troublesome. It shows that as long as an encampment
policy exists, the refugee will be an economic actor under the Cash
Based Transfer programme vulnerable to exploitation, both in or
outside the camp. Furthermore, the implementation of Cash Based
Transfer assistance is expected to have implications for the
encampment policy, as the host community becomes more dependent on
humanitarian aid and therefore refugee presence. Finally, the case of
Nyarugusu Refugee Camp shows that the implementation of CBT assistance
in encampment circumstances requires monitoring of the perceptions
and views of those involved. Only by doing so, will it be possible to
react to unintended consequences, such as increased illegal mobility
and tensions based on rising prices.},
  author       = {de Bruin, Nephele},
  keyword      = {Cash Based Transfer assistance,encampment policy,refugee camps,Tanzania},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Implications of encampment for the potential of Cash Based Transfer assistance},
  year         = {2017},
}