Making cash work for cities and towns affected by humanitarian crises
Cash transfers can offer value-for-money in humanitarian responses, and cash transfer programming (CTP) has the potential to transform humanitarian architecture. While this type of assistance is established — in 2015 the EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department issued ‘10 common principles’ for use of cash — to date it has mostly been used in rural areas. As humanitarian agencies increasingly face emergencies in urban settings, what can CTP contribute and what challenges arise? An IIED literature review indicates that cash transfers have a role in the first phase of urban humanitarian response and could contribute to longer-term development objectives. If humanitarian CTP in urban contexts is to be effective and sustainable it requires cooperation, coordination, capacity and commitment. It needs funding that is distributed across key humanitarian, development and private-sector stakeholders, under the leadership of a strategic and accountable body.