Cash transfers and mental health in Egypt

The relationship between poverty and mental health is complex. Conditional cash transfers are seen as an important policy tool in reducing poverty and fostering social protection. Evidence on the impact on mental health is mixed. In this study, we assess the causal impact of the Egypt’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme Takaful on the main beneficiaries’ mental health. Using a regression discontinuity design, we find that receiving the Takaful CCT does not have a significant impact on the anxiety levels of mothers in our sample. In addition, we do not find much supporting evidence that the programme has an heterogeneous impact on anxiety levels. We discuss possible explanations behind these null results.