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Why not cash? The case for cash transfers for refugees in Mozambique

2016 — By Sarah Bailey

There are two areas where cash transfers could play a role in humanitarian assistance in Mozambique: in response to natural disasters and in support of the long-term refugee population. This working paper focuses on refugees.

Why not cash? The case for cash transfers for refugees in Mozambique is one of a series of case studies building on the work of the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Cash Transfers. The Panel concluded that cash transfers are not used enough in humanitarian responses and not used in ways that take advantage of their transformative potential.

Most of the country case studies look at how cash transfers have been and should be used at scale in large humanitarian responses with numerous aid organisations, donors and government agencies. The Mozambique case study is different because it focuses on one refugee camp, hosting a relatively small number of people, assisted by only a few agencies. By analysing the potential for cash transfers in Maratane camp, we can better understand opportunities and obstacles in the humanitarian system to using cash transfers when they are appropriate.