Cash Tranfers for Food Security in Epidemics. A Review of the USAID Food for Peace Response to the Ebola Crisis in Liberia and Sierra Leone
Over the course of 2015 and 2016, United States Agency for International Development/Food for Peace (USAID/FFP)-funded cash transfer programming (CTP) in Liberia and Sierra Leone reached over 500,000 crisis-affected people with a vital lifeline to tackle food insecurity. Monitoring data indicates that 75 percent of the money given through unconditional cash transfers (UCT) was spent on food.
Across all projects, beneficiaries reported an average reduction of 27 percent on the Household Hunger Scale (HHS) and significant improvements in household dietary diversity scores (HDDS), with the number of food groups consumed nearly doubling to 6.65.
The exceptionality of the 2014–15 Ebola crisis and the resulting scale of the cash transfer program (CTP) response led by USAID/FFP in Liberia and Sierra Leone provides a unique opportunity to document and capture program learning. This documentation report compiles lessons from across the projects implemented by USAID/FFP partners, and draws from the diversity of their experiences to provide operational and strategic recommendations on CTP for humanitarian workers facing similar crises in the future.