OCHA on Message: Cash Coordination

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What is cash transfer programming and cash coordination?

Cash transfer programming refers to all programmes where cash (or vouchers for goods or services) is provided directly to affected people to meet one or several basic humanitarian needs. Evidence indicates that cash is almost universally preferred by beneficiaries, and that it can be an effective and efficient means of delivering assistance where markets and operational contexts permit. Cash transfer programming is being scaled up across the humanitarian system and can be delivered through mechanisms including vouchers, electronic payment systems or direct cash delivery.

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Why use cash transfer programming?

Cash is a flexible resource that people can use to meet multiple needs across a variety of sectors. Providing cash, particularly multipurpose 1 cash assistance, to crisis -affected people allows those people to prioritize their needs, and it can stimulate local markets, helping to speed up recovery. It can also serve as an important bridge between humanitarian and development activities.

When should cash transfer programming be used?

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Humanitarian assistance, whether cash based or in kind, should be needs based and context specific. The appropriateness or feasibility of cash as a response modality depends on factors including market systems, the acceptance and safety of cash, transfer/delivery options and implementing -partner capacity. If the conditions are not conducive, or cannot be supported to be conducive, cash transfer programming should not be used. Some needs cannot be met through cash transfers, such as critical infrastructure or psychosocial support.

Current state of play

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The Secretary -General’s Agenda for Humanity called for cash to be used as the preferred and default modality where markets and operations contexts permit, while the Grand Bargain committed to a scale -up of cash and the strengthening of cash coordination. OCHA is supporting this through effective and context -specific coordination, inter -agency engagement at global and field levels, and improved understanding of the feasibility of cash .

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA’s activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.
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