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Case Study

Alternative Approaches to Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance Delivery in Active Conflict Contexts

July 2023 — By Mercy Corps

On April 15, 2023, violent clashes erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). This conflict has had dire consequences, forcing people to flee. Both displaced and host communities, as well as those who have chosen to remain in sheltered locations, are grappling with immediate livelihood losses and the struggle to meet their basic needs. Escalating food and commodity prices, and the persistent violence are all contributing to the worsening state of food insecurity.

In response to the crisis and the increased needs of vulnerable communities, particularly new internally displaced persons (IDPs), Multipurpose Cash Assistance (MPCA) emerges as a valuable resource. It provides affected individuals with the flexibility and dignity to choose how to address their basic needs. Given the range of needs that target households exhibit, MPCA is an appropriate, tried and tested tool to support access to critical basic needs and strengthen food security and resilience. Where markets are functional and can support increases in demand, MPCA has been proven to strengthen and stabilize household consumption, to improve food consumption and dietary diversity, and to reduce reliance on more severe and less reversible coping strategies. Despite the conflict, markets continue to operate in various regions with severe increases in the prices of essential goods. MPCA serves as an effective solution for affected populations to meet their essential needs.