Social Safety Nets in the Northern Republic of Congo

Background and context

The Republic of Congo (RoC) hosts 60,000 refugees and asylum seekers, predominantly from the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Rwanda. At the beginning of 2021, more than 8,000 refugees arrived from CAR, fleeing post-electoral violence. Nearly three quarters of refugees and asylum seekers in the country live in rural areas, with more than half in the Likouala department in the North.

Refugees in RoC enjoy a largely protection environment, with no limit to their freedom of movement, access to social services (including health and education) and the justice system, as well as relatively unrestricted employment rights. Yet, like their host communities, refugees often have to cope with overstretched services and few economic opportunities which has been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic and a protracted economic crisis. In the Likouala department, the situation is aggravated by the remote location where many people live, which restricts economic activity even more.


One of the main objectives of this activity is to determine the impact of the Social Safety Nets Project on refugees and their host communities and to draw lessons from this for further . Specifically, the activity seeks to understand the impact of conditional cash transfers and income-generating activities among refugees and host populations and the impact that the project has had on refugee households’ .

The activity is divided into three workstreams, some of which are conducted in collaboration with academic :

  1. The construction and validation of baselines to describe the host and refugee households, utilizing five data collection exercises.
  2. A short-term impact analysis, to investigate the causal effects of the Project on refugee and host communities.
  3. Longer-term analysis, to track the medium-term effects of the intervention.


The project is led by UNHCR in strict collaboration with the World Bank Lisungi team. The Lisungi project management unit (based in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Humanitarian Action) also contributes to the project throughout its different phases. The team will also work closely with the INS staff assigned to the Lisungi Project to oversee the Lisungi internal data collection exercise.


For further details on this activity, please contact:

Domenico Tabasso, Senior Economist, [email protected]