Cash Programming

The use of cash as part of humanitarian assistance is growing rapidly. Cash transfer programming helps deliver a variety of choice to affected people, while recognising their dignity, ability, and capacity to identify and prioritise their needs.

Cash Programming
May 31, 2016 Delivery and Access

Humanitarian organisations are increasingly using cash transfer programmes to meet the needs of people affected by crisis. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has called for cash to be “the preferred and default method of support" for humanitarian organisations.

The benefits of cash include its’ ease and speed of dispersement, support of local markets, and respect for peoples’ freedom of choice. However, gaps can exist in areas such as protection, gender, monitoring, and targeting of marginalised groups.
Several STAIT and OPR missions found that considerable work is being done on cash programming globally and locally. WFP, FAO, and many NGOs are making large investments in cash food programmes. UNHCR is refining its biometric platforms to promote the use of cash in urban contexts, while some NGOs are using cash to enhance accountability to affected people.

Senior humanitarian experts, including the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, shared their experience on the use of cash programming in Nepal. Some of the top tips include:

Do you have any advice on implementing cash transfers in operations? Please email your tips to



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