UNHCR developed a regional winterization plan for 2021-2022 based on the assessed most vulnerable needs of almost 3.3 million Syrian and Iraqi internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. With the generous contributions received by early December 2021, UNHCR was able to provide winterization support to close to 31 million people during the winter months.
The winterization programme was implemented from September 2021 to March 2022, with the majority of the assistance (both cash grants and winter items) distributed by December 2021. Early planning, preparation and procurement allowed UNHCR and its partners to reach beneficiaries and, wherever possible, to allow beneficiaries to receive their assistance on time to prepare for the harsh winter.
Multi-purpose cash assistance was the main modality used, allowing families to decide which expenditures and purchases to prioritize according to their individual and family needs, thus enhancing the efficiency of the support while also promoting dignity. Recipients were thus able to e.g. purchase winter clothing, fuel for heating, additional blankets, or make small home repairs as needed to help them better cope with the harsh and often freezing conditions. Cash support also reduces the need to resort to harmful coping mechanisms such as incurring debt to buy food, skipping meals completely, or supplementing income through child labour. UNHCR also provided seasonal core relief blankets such as high thermal blankets and winter clothing.