Launched in 2016,

LOUISE is a joint initiative by UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, Save the Children and World Vision. LOUISE streamlines humanitarian cash assistance for socio-economically disadvantaged Syrian refugees and Lebanese, based on their vulnerabilities. The LOUISE platform is built to meet the needs of Syrian refugees and poor Lebanese and it is open for other agencies and non-governmental agencies to join. LOUISE can be thought of as a multi-wallet system or a gateway through which beneficiaries access tailor made assistance, making sure that the needs of the most vulnerable and food insecure are met.

Through a Common Card , those eligible can access food, cash, protection and child benefit assistance – in short, a range of humanitarian services through a single medium. The underlying idea? To address poverty and multiple deprivations by linking cash assistance with social programmes as a responsive humanitarian safety net. Not only is this approach more accountable to 1 beneficiaries and better addresses diverse needs; it also leverages the comparative advantage and expertise of the involved agencies to shape and achieve the highest standards of practice and transparency.

This is done at a competitive cost and in a coordinated manner by pooling resources and embedding checks and balances. This new system also matches the objectives of the Grand Bargain by eliminating layers and costs, simplifying responses, and decreasing duplication in humanitarian assistance.
The Common Card
  • Communication
    Posters, help desks, SMS, Q&As, information sessions, booklets, a hotline; all aimed at informing beneficiaries about LOUISE, the common card, and answering questions
  • Targeting
    Identification of the beneficiaries most in need is based on the yearly vulnerability assessment and harmonized targeting approaches
  • Distribution
    All beneficiaries receive an SMS informing them, based on their vulnerability and needs, which assistance they are entitled to, what it consists of, and where the common card and accompanying PIN number can be picked up. The distribution of cards follows high standards of ethics and integrity to ensure participation, information, security and dignity of cardholders
  • Training
    Before receiving the common card, users are trained on its use, benefits, how to access services or how to use an ATM. Furthermore, frontline staff from all LOUISE agencies are trained on the system in order to be able to answer questions of beneficiaries.
  • Monitoring and evaluation
    A joint framework for monitoring and evaluation developed for LOUISE. Monitoring is continuous, bolstered with data gathered at the call centre and bank reports. All information is shared among participating agencies, used to shape programming
  • Common Card Governing body
    Consisting of Representatives of UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, Save the Children and World Vision
  • Common Card Steering Committee
    Consisting of managers from UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, Save the Children and World Vision as well as other agencies as observers
  • Common Card Operational System
    Describes the contributions and duties of all participating organizations
  • Information Management Portal
    This website, with general information for external audiences for greater transparency. Also an internal platform where the agencies running LOUISE share operational and financial information in a protected manner to preserve the privacy of users
  • Integrated Card System
    Our programmers have set up a server that handles each cardholders’ finances, issues cards based on the household registry and joint vulnerability assessment, and activates and inactivates requests
  • Call Centre
    Whatever the question, cardholders can call a hotline for assistance. Staff are specially trained to answer questions about the multiple LOUISE programmes. The data and information gathered is used to constantly iron out flaws. The call centre is a venue where appeals and grievances are addressed by cardholders and non-cardholders. It is also a key channel for referrals between agencies
louise credit card image


USD 27
Food assistance
The monthly amount each beneficiary within a household receives to meet minimum dietary needs
USD 20/65
Child benefit
A monthly child benefit, to pay for indirect school costs such as transport and clothes. Children aged 5 - 9 get $20 per month, 9 and above get $65
USD 100-147
Winter assistance support
A monthly winter assistance support, to fix shelters, buy tarpaulin, fuel for heating or blankets. Additionally, each child under the age of 15 gets US$ 40 per year for winter clothing
USD 175
Multi-purpose cash
A monthly amount per family, so-called multi-purpose cash, to meet basic needs, whatever they may be
There are no identical cases and the needs are as varied as the numbers of families in need. The assistance to each cardholder or household is tailor made to make sure that specific needs of the most socio-economically disadvantaged are met, eventually forming a humanitarian safety net for families. The automated functions of LOUISE make it a process that is both smooth and simple.