For over 3 years we have been promoting unconditional cash transfers as the best way to help vulnerable households meet their basic needs, retain financial independence, and maintain their dignity.
The most vulnerable households are often the first victims of the natural or manmade catastrophe. Often forced to sell their meager assets, including livestock, these families have little resilience against future shocks. Even a relatively small event, such as the death of an animal, can plunge them into crisis, forcing them to rely on humanitarian aid for survival.
Predictable cash transfers help families to deal with immediate crises, manage their limited resources, and start to invest in the future. By having cash in their pockets, recipients are able to improve their access to both food and non-food items. With their basic food needs met, household spending patterns change, with greater spending on livelihood related items, such as livestock, small businesses, education, and savings.
Instead of surviving from day-to-day, these communities are beginning the slow and difficult process of building a foundation for long-term self-sufficiency.