Nutrition and Cash and Voucher Assistance
How is CVA used in the Nutrition sector?
There is a growing recognition that Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) can contribute to improving maternal and child nutrition by impacting on the underlying determinants of adequate nutrition. This can occur in three main ways.
- CVA allows targeted households and individuals to purchase goods and access services that can have a positive impact on maternal and child nutrition. These include nutritious foods, items to prepare food, hygiene items, safe water, health services and medication, transportation, and productive inputs.
- If provided conditionally, CVA can improve participation in nutrition Social Behaviour Change (SBC) activities and attendance to priority preventive health services.
- Further, the increase in household income associated with CVA can reduce economic pressures and household tensions, in turn increasing the time available for caregiving, enhancing women’s decision-making power, and improving psychological well-being of caregivers.
Main challenges for the scale-up of quality CVA in the Nutrition sector?
There are numerous challenges to scaling up quality CVA in the nutrition sector. The exposure of nutrition practitioners with cash and voucher modalities has been limited. Consequently, their capacity to consider and use CVA in nutrition response has been limited as well. Also, to date, there has been a lack of guidance on how to incorporate CVA in nutrition response. The Evidence and Guidance Note should help to address this challenge.