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Cash 101: Cash and Voucher Assistance Explained

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The use of cash assistance in the Covid-19 humanitarian response: accelerating trends and missed opportunities

When COVID struck, governments and humanitarians turned to cash assistance to help people. To what extent was CVA used, and how did it impact on ways of working? See CALP’s analysis published in ODI's Disasters Journal, with inputs drawn from across the CALP Network.

1 February 2022 — By Julie Lawson McDowall, Ruth McCormack

The onset of COVID-19, social distancing, lockdowns and rapidly growing poverty has has resulted in cash assistance became the global default mechanism for assistance.  

Cash has proven to be an adaptable means of saving lives and supporting livelihoods in a timely fashion. Cash has also mitigated the pandemic’s impacts on local economies while giving recipients the flexibility to decide what they require.  

The COVID-19 crisis particularly gave a further impetus to the role of national social protection systems – and the increasingly significant question of how humanitarian systems can link to or support these – in reaching and covering those in need.  

Drawing on inputs from across the CALP Network, this paper explores how cash and voucher assistance—with a focus on humanitarian response—has been scaled up or adjusted in response to Covid-19, and how CVA is changing ways of working. 


Cash 101: Cash and Voucher Assistance Explained

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