This report reflects an October 2020 snapshot of our work in the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Uganda, exploring the effect of cash transfers on health and household welfare outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this last of three rounds of ~35-minute structured phone interviews, we interviewed 652 refugee respondents between 19 and 30 October 2020. We conducted Round 1 data collection from 6 to 28 July 2020 and Round 2 from 18 August to 14 September 2020. These phone surveys are layered onto an ongoing randomized evaluation of a 1000 USD cash transfer to households registered in the settlement. The treatment group has already received their transfers, while the control group will receive a transfer in 2021.
Crop farming outside a house in Kiryandongo. ©IDinsight/Heather E Lanthorn, February 2020
Cash and COVID-19 Experiences from Kiryandongo 3/3 - 2 MB
Some of the key findings in this third round include:
Perception of COVID-19 and compliance with COVID-19 public health measures
Perceived likelihood of contracting COVID-19 and mask wearing stayed steady over time (at 60% and 85% respectively in October 2020). However, recognition of asymptomatic transmission and self-reported social distancing dropped since July 2020, from 47% for both asymptomatic transmission and self-reported social distancing to 33% and 32%, respectively, in October 2020.
Households that received cash transfers reported being less food insecure compared to households that are yet to receive cash transfers. However, most households across groups reported cutting down the size of meals or skipping meals in the last seven days.
Overall, respondents had mixed opinions on whether and how alcohol consumption had changed since baseline or since lockdown. More male respondents (28%) reported consuming alcohol in the last month compared to female respondents (16%). There was no statistically significant differences in drinking behavior among treatment and control households.
Respondents reported that they felt good about inter-refugee and refugee-host relations. Compared to October 2019, refugees reported that inter-refugee and refugee-host relations have improved. However, most respondents noted that overall, the host community treated refugees unfairly with the pricing of goods in markets run by Ugandans.
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