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Cash Transfers in Emergencies: A Review Drawing upon the Tsunami and Other Experience

2006 — By Radhika Gore, Mahesh Patel

This 2006 document from the Social Policy and Economic Analysis office of UNICEF (East Asia and the Pacific Region) draws upon examples from the tsunami and other contexts to explore cash transfer experience in emergencies.

It presents existing evidence of impact of cash transfers on children; reasons that cash transfers have been under-utilized; and suggestions for how UN agencies could support cash programmes. It is conducted from the perspective that providing cash in emergencies is not only a part of humanitarian response, but also a feature of social protection policy.

The scope of the study includes conditional and unconditional cash grants and cash-for-work programmes. It does not examine loan or credit programmes, such as micro-credit loans. Neither does it examine vouchers, which may present an alternative to cash. The methodology consists of a literature review, field visits and interviews.