Syria Article

Cash-for-work programmes provide relief in Syria

ACTED has recently implemented a cash-for-work programme in Syria. For beneficiaries without specific qualifications, these programmes provide an opportunity to receive cash in exchange for work. Access to cash empowers beneficiaries to meet their most urgent needs, like the purchase of food.

Community-focused programming

Following a global approach to ensure that the project improves the living condition of the greatest number of people, ACTED identifies work opportunities, such as the rehabilitation of public facilities, which benefit the broader community.

In one of the villages where ACTED is implementing the cash-for-work programme, residents were suffering from the presence of waste and debris in the irrigation canals. The waste blocked water from reaching the agricultural land, thus impacting agriculture for farmers in the area. Fatma is one of the beneficiaries of the programme.

ACTED 2018
Cash-for-work beneficiaries cleaning the canal.

Fatma’s story

Fatma is a mother of eight young children, raising them on her own after her husband died due to conflict three years ago. She lives on a daily wage of one dollar, which is grossly insufficient to cover her family’s expenses and face life’s challenges during a time of conflict.

“Most of the days we are hungry because we cannot afford to buy enough food,” Fatma explains.

On good days, they have some oil and bread to eat, or whatever food her neighbours can spare.

Supporting families and changing communities

Thanks to ACTED’s cash-for-work programme, Fatma has already earned enough money to buy food for more than one month. She has been working with other members of the community to clean and rebuild the water canal. Due to their efforts, the canal is proving to be a source of great relief for local small and medium farmers, benefiting the local agricultural production.


ACTED 2018
The canal before the intervention.
ACTED 2018
The canal after the intervention.

Beyond covering her family’s basic food needs, Fatma is using the money earned through the programme to support her children’s education.

I was also able to afford new clothes for my kids, and all they needed for school. I was even able to buy a toy that my son had been dreaming of for a long time.

Fatma, beneficary

Fatma’s story is a clear example of how cash-for-work programmes have a direct and valuable impact on the lives of the beneficiaries. ACTED believes in the potential of cash-for-work programmes for addressing the immediate needs of vulnerable families while supporting the recovery of the entire local community.