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Case Study

Cash and Voucher Assistance – Feasibility Study

November 2022 — By Syed Mohammed Aftab Alam, Emilio Paz

The feasibility study aims to understand the general CVA landscapes in Nepal and its feasibility. Since the earthquake response in Nepal in 2015, cash and voucher assistance has increasingly become popular as a modality of assistance in emergencies, especially during COVID-19. The study was conducted in the 9 districts to understand the functionality, accessibility, presence of financial service providers to deliver the cash, and capacity of the market to supply the basic needs of the community should an emergency occur. It also investigates the short- and long-term needs of communities where Plan operates and assesses the general acceptability of CVA both at the local and national levels. The study also seeks to understand the programs of peer organizations as well as the preferences of donors related to CVA programming in emergencies.

Feasibility Study of using Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) in Nepal to respond to emergencies:

 Nepal’s location along the snowcapped Himalayas mountain ranges and active fault lines puts the country at risk to different natural hazards including earthquakes and seasonal monsoon rain including secondary hazards like flash floods, avalanches, and landslides. The rapidly changing climate will also intensify its occurrence in the coming years. Preparedness and early action using cash can be used to prevent the loss of life and livelihood.
 Vulnerable population is exposed to these hazards including food-insecure households. Focus Group Discussion and survey conducted by Plan confirm, around 2% of the households experienced going to bed with an empty stomach for 2 days within a week.
 CVA is the most appropriate and preferred modality of assistance in all stages of preparedness and response to emergencies based on the result of the latest feasibility study conducted by Plan.
 Markets continue to function in all study areas with a robust supply chain to respond to increased demand for emergency response. They had good experience implementing CVA in the past emergency response including earthquakes, flooding, and the recent COVID-19 emergency.
 Presence of financial service providers and a good network to support the emergency response.
 Acceptability of CVA at all levels, but must be consistent with government policies and guidelines.
 Good CVA coordination mechanisms at the national level ensures complementation in responding to emergencies.