Table 2

Benefits and limitations of UCT schemes

Increase ability to pay for household amenitiesSouth Africa22 27 86 87; Ethiopia88
Reduction in stress levelsMalawi89; Zambia90 91; Mozambique, Yemen, Palestine92
Increase access to a nutritionally complete dietSouth Africa23 93; Malawi24 Ethiopia88
Improved health statusSouth Africa22 23; Zambia94 Malawi95
An improvement in self-worth and independenceZambia92 94 South Africa96 Yemen97
LimitationsReversal of health outcomes if UCTs are rescindedSouth Africa22 23 93 98
Long-term recipients find difficulties in securing employment UCTs are recindedSouth Africa99
Funds insufficient in reducing vulnerability, including meeting both healthcare, nutrition and household needsSouth Africa,22 23 27 86 100–102 Zambia94 China,103 104 Peru36 Malawi,105 Vietnam106
Inability to save a surplus income creates long term dependency on UCTsSouth Africa86 96 99 102 107–110 Brazil77 111 112; Malawi51
Majority of schemes include pre-existing poverty in the eligibility criteria and do not protect those who are vulnerable to povertyMultiple (see 113–115)
Funding levels do not recognise the nuance of different illnesses and the range of their respective costs.Palestine116
  • UCTs, unconditional cash transfers.