U of T news
  • Follow U of T News


U of T students find UNHCR cash-transfer program reaches more Syrian refugees

U of T student Elizabeth Assefa (left) is quoted in a story about her research initiative for the Munk School of Global Affairs' REACH Project. Assefa and other U of T students studied a cash-transfer program in Jordan for Syrian refugees

A University of Toronto student-led project examining a cash-transfer program's success in Jordan with Syrian refugees was featured in the Globe and Mail.

The article quotes U of T student Elizabeth Assefa who travelled to Jordan with a team of students and faculty for a research project studying a successful cash-transfer program run by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which is getting more money to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. The program uses iris-scanning technology to ensure most of the money finds its way to refugees' pockets. The students found that 95 cents of every dollar is going to refugees, which is a far greater portion than most aid programs.

Read the Globe and Mail story

The study is just one of the many social service initiatives around the world that are researched by the REACH Project. Run out of the Munk School of Global Affairs, REACH is a research-based initiative for undergraduate and graduate students from across various disciplines, and is led by Professor Joseph Wong. It is supported by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.

Read more about the cash-transfer study

“For me, this has been one of the turning points in my teaching, realizing that young people are able to do world-class research,” said Wong, the vice-president of international student experience at U of T, in the article. “It can be done everywhere if you have motivated students, but also motivated faculty. You need faculty to believe that students are able to do this.”

Read more about REACH