Cash and voucher assistance

Cash and voucher assistance (CVA), also known as cash transfer programming (CTP) and cash based assistance (CBA), may be one of the oldest examples of how people help their fellow human beings in crisis, but of late has been reborn in terms of its significance to humanitarian response. Evidence has shown that in the right circumstances, giving people cash is a superior and less expensive way to meet their needs. This rapidly developing sector faces a number of challenges, such as the technical aspects of ensuring a safe transfer, the need to better understand the conditions under which CVA will be effective, and what CVA might look like within thematic areas (e.g., health, shelter). CVAis also seen as a 'disruptor' within the humanitarian system, eliminating the massive staff and logistics assets needed to deliver assistance and placing direct power in the hands of people affected by crisis.

Discussion between teller and client at financial service institution

Photo: Alan Whelan/Trócaire

Key actors

Global partnership of humanitarian actors engaged in policy, practice, and research on CTP. Publishes the yearly State of the World's Cash Report.

Organizational perspectives

Report focusing on the ICRC’s experience of using CTP in armed conflict situations (Yemen, Nigeria, South Sudan, Lebanon, and Ukraine)

Basic guidance on the use of cash-based interventions and key issues of relevance to UNHCR in the form of questions and answers

PHAP certifications

Become certified in Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) through the PHAP Credentialing Program.

Key references

Report on the current state of CTP in humanitarian aid, the extent to which previous commitments have been achieved, as well as current critical debates, case studies, and priority actions regarding CTP

Report of the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Cash Transfers highlighting the role of cash in improving and tackling long-standing problems in the humanitarian sector, as well as the necessary shifts in order to reach its full potential

Summary of good practice for humanitarian practitioners involved in the planning and implementation of CTP in emergencies

Overview of new types of risk and ways of mitigating risk in CTP

Latest discussions