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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - UNU-MERIT Working Papers
Title Does shelter assistance reduce poverty in Afghanistan?
Issue 2014-051
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
URL https://cris.maastrichtuniversity.nl/portal/files/3465841/guid-db81a64e-14da-47b9-8554-57a502544a95-​ASSET1.0
Forced migration, often resulting from violent conflict, imposes large economic costs on both sending and
receiving countries, on those agencies that coordinate humanitarian services and most importantly upon
the forced migrants themselves. Programmes encouraging the return of refugees are therefore potentially
crucial interventions, which can result in all parties benefiting. In this paper, we assess the UNHCR postreturn
shelter assistance programme in Afghanistan between 2009 and 2011, the country most affected by
refugee movements, where no less than one-third of the population is a returnee. Given the infeasibility of
randomizing shelter assistance to those repatriated, we implement a variety of matching techniques to
insulate our results from selection biases. Adopting a multidimensional approach, our results show that
shelter assistance reduces multidimensional poverty by around six percentage points. This reduction in
poverty is driven by particular indicators of deprivation including dietary diversity, food security and
heating, all of which are shown to fall by five to six percent depending on the matching specification. The
former results are particularly encouraging in the context of Afghanistan given the prevalence of chronic
malnutrition in the country.

Related studies

Loschman, C, Christopher R Parsons, and Melissa Siegel. "Does shelter assistance reduce poverty in Afghanistan?." UNU-MERIT Working Papers , no. 2014-051 (2014).
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