Cash transfers in emergencies: a synthesis of World Vision's experience and learning

Research reports and studies
August 2009
Sarah Bailey, Kevin Savage, Sorcha O’Callaghan

This report examines the use of cash transfers during crises by World Vision and other humanitarian aid agencies. Cash transfers are increasingly accepted as an alternative way to assist people reeling from the impact of crisis. In certain contexts, cash transfers can meet project objectives more effectively than in-kind assistance, and it is likely that this overall – though limited – trend in favour of cash-based responses is set to continue. Yet few donors have established dedicated guiding criteria for the consideration of cash-based responses in emergencies.

The report finds that World Vision needs to secure the skills and capacity both to decide when cash is appropriate and to programme it when it is. World Vision’s pioneering Cash and Food Transfers Pilot Project in Lesotho is a strong step in this
direction.

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