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Case Study

Cash Transfer Programmes Review in Kachin/Northern Shan and Rakhine States

January 2022 — By Key Aid Consulting

The use of Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) in Myanmar dates to 2008, with the first CVA emergency response to Cyclone Nargis. By 2020, more than one million people received a total of 35.6 million USD worth of CVA, distributed by 63 organisations nationwide. Even so, government acceptance of CVA was not uniform in all contexts and sectors of implementation. On 1st February 2021, the Myanmar military overthrew the government in a coup d’etat. The combined effects of COVID-19 as well as the February 2021 coup have turned back the development clock by years. The resulting economic crisis comprised of inflation, depreciation of the Myanmar kyat (M MK) against the United States dollar (USD), as well as a liquidity crisis/low supply of bank notes and closure of banks.

In light of this, this review aimed to harness lessons learned from the design, implementation and monitoring of past and current humanitarian CVA projects by humanitarian actors before and after 1st February 2021 in order to inform future crisis response in Rakhine, Kachin and Northern Shan states. Accordingly, the review mapped the use of CVA and CVA stakeholders, collated qualitative accounts of challenges and opportunities faced by humanitarian organisations, identified adaptations to the change in economic situation, market functionality and protection risks.