UNHCR Program "Cash for Protection"

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Updated on 01.09.2022г. 

What is this?

Cash for Protection is a type of financial aid which is granted by the UNHCR for Ukrainian nationals who have registered under Temporary Protection, are seeking or have already been granted International Protection.

Who is eligible to apply?

The aid eligibility is assessed for each household that meets all three of the below criteria:

Criterion 1

The household meets one of these vulnerability categories:

  • A member of the household has a serious physical, psychological, intellectual or sensory impairment.
  • A member of the household has a serious medical condition that requires (ongoing) treatment or incapacitates the person to take independent care of themselves.
  • A member of the household is a child at risk: a child-parent, child spouse, teenage pregnancy, child engaged in child labor (a child under 16 years of age who engages in work which is likely to be harmful to his/her development or interferes with his/her education), unaccompanied child, separated child.
  • A member of the household is an elderly person at risk: person/couple of 60 years of age or older, without any family members in the country, person/couple of 60 years of age or older who is/are the sole caretakers of children in the household (younger than 18 years of age)
  • A member of the household who is a pregnant or lactating woman
  • A member of the household who is a single parent to three or more children
  • A member of the household who is exposed to risk or has survived gender–based violence
  • A member of the household who is a survivor of torture
  • A member of the household who is a survivor of human trafficking
  • A member of the household who is a person with severe emotional or psychological trauma
  • A member of the household who is a LGBTQ person facing specific safety risks

Important: In cases where the person’s disability or serious medical condition is not readily visible, documentation needs to be provided as proof of the disability/medical condition. This can be an official attestation (either from Ukraine or Bulgaria), medical bills, prescription or other documentation.

Criterion 2

The household has limited means of coping due to limited financial resources/lack of access to income  

Criterion 3

A one-time payment of protection cash assistance will most likely decrease the household’s vulnerability.

The aim of the protection cash assistance is to aid the household in coping with their vulnerability, but it does not constitute a solution for all problems.

How to apply?

You will not be able to apply directly. The applications are handled by NGO partners of the UNHCR (Bulgarian Red Cross (BRC), Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC), Council of Refugee Women in Bulgaria (CRWB), Foundation for Access to Rights (FAR) or international organizations (UNICEF, IOM)

The application process begins with an application form being filled out by the organizations’ employees who must assess the household’s vulnerability based on the above-provided criteria. 

It is important to provide a correct and current mobile number (Ukrainian or Bulgarian) to be contacted for an interview.

All process steps and the relevant institutions are listed in the chart below:


Relevant Institution

Step 1

The household is directed to the program “Protection Cash Assistance” through the program allocation form.  

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), employees/volunteers from partner organizations, employees from other international organizations and NGOs

Step 2

The household receives a message confirming the application form has been received.

Bulgarian Red Cross

Step 3

An initial assessment is conducted based on the information provided in the application.



Step 4

Households which do not meet the criteria are notified via text message.

Bulgarian Red Cross

Step 5

The household receives a text message to arrange an interview appointment slot. Additionally, the help line telephone number is also provided to them.

Bulgarian Red Cross

Step 6

The household is interviewed, and their personal details and special needs are registered. All members of the household must be present at the time of the interview.

Bulgarian Red Cross

Step 7

It is decided whether the household has a right to financial aid and determined how much the amount will be.


Step 8

The household receive a text message which indicates whether they meet the criteria. If the criteria are met, the household are provided with a unique code which must be used to receive the financial aid amount in any Western Union branch.


Bulgarian Red Cross

Step 9

The household goes to any Western Union branch to collect the allocated financial aid amount.

Western Union

Where can I seek help?

You can reach out to any of the partner organization of the UNHCR (including FAR). They will carry out a vulnerability assessment and will point you to the appropriate financial aid program. After you have been found eligible to apply, you will be invited to an interview. In the initial stages of the program, interviews will be conducted only in Sofia, Varna, and Burgas.

  • Sofia

Information – integration center of BRC

“Evlogi and Hristo Georgievi” boulevard 165

  • Varna

Bulgarian Red Cross / “Blue point”

“Bratia Shkorpil” street 3

  • Burgas

Bulgarian Red Cross

zh.k. "Vazrazhdane" bl. 7, p.k. 232

Mobility visits

In case a member of the household has physical impairments, which prevent him/her from attending the interview, the latter will be conducted through a mobility visit. Such visits can be made in the territories of Sofia/Varna/Burgas. Currently, the visits cannot be made outside of the territories of these cities.