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Pilot Programmatic Program (PPP) transforms lives of the most vulnerable refugees through non-conditional cash support.

Antoinette Imanizibayo, a 38-year-old mother from the Democratic Republic of Congo, has endured a journey of heartache and resilience in the face of conflict and displacement. Her story is one of survival, loss, and ultimate hope.

In 2022, during a rebel attack, Antoinette tragically lost her husband, Cloud Mbariyanga, and was separated from her 20-year-old daughter. The attack left her emotionally scarred and facing the daunting challenge of starting over in a foreign land with her two remaining children.

“The rebels were ruthless, shooting indiscriminately,” Antoinette recalls with tears in her eyes. “My husband sacrificed himself to save us, directing us to safety before facing the rebels head-on. I saw them shoot him before we could find cover. It’s a memory that haunts me to this day.”

Forced to flee with nothing but her children, Antoinette found herself at Nakivale refugee settlement in Uganda, where life was harsh and resources were scarce, especially with aid from organizations like UNHCR being significantly reduced.

However, her fortunes began to change when the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS), supported by funding from various humanitarian aid organizations, including the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Austrian Red Cross and the Netherlands Red Cross, introduced a non-conditional cash assistance program under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

Antoinette Imanizibayo with her son checking on one of her goats that had just produced.

With the cash assistance, Antoinette was able to purchase two goats, which multiplied and provided her with a sustainable source of income. Expressing her gratitude, she says, “The support from URCS was a lifeline. It allowed me to buy essentials, pay school fees for my children, and invest in livestock that now sustain us.”

Vanessa Lubowa, leading the Multipurpose Cash Transfer project, highlights the challenges faced by refugees, including language barriers and lack of identification documents. The non-conditional cash assistance, she explains, is designed to help vulnerable individuals like Antoinette rebuild their lives without added burdens.

Francis Amulen, URCS Community Engagement and Accountability Lead, emphasizing community engagement and accountability, stresses the importance of involving beneficiaries in project objectives and implementation, ensuring their needs are met effectively.

Antoinette’s journey reflects the resilience of refugees and the vital role of collaborative efforts in supporting them to rebuild their lives and achieve self-reliance.