DG ECHO New Cash Transfer policy
The policy document was developed in consultation with DG NEAR and DG INTPA on the basis of programmatic best practices.
It summarises the position of the DG ECHO on the use of cash transfers in responding to humanitarian needs and presents operational guidance setting out DG ECHO’s expectations in the field of humanitarian cash assistance.
It is complemented by Annex 1, including the DG ECHO’s Large-scale Cash Guidance Note which contains specific considerations for cash programmes equal to or above EUR 10 million.
The document builds on cumulative EU commitments on cash transfers which have evolved based on emerging evidence. Since the publication of DG ECHO’s previous thematic policy document on cash transfers in 2013, indeed, there have been significant global developments at a policy and technical level.
The use of cash transfers is now widely recognised as the most efficient and effective way of getting humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflicts or disasters, whenever possible and appropriate and as a key tool for operationalising the humanitarian–development nexus.
It has proven to be transformative by conferring choice and a sense of dignity and by empowering people to tailor the assistance to meet their multiple needs, to make limited resources have a multiplier effect on local economies, while making DG ECHO more accountable to affected populations and taxpayers to act as a catalyst for innovation, driving market-based approaches, the increased digitalisation of humanitarian assistance and linkages with social protection systems.
Based on the above, in this document DG ECHO actively encourages the use of cash:
- Within anticipatory action, based on robust risk assessment, and supports the necessary investments in forecast-based financing and cash preparedness to enable this to happen
- In response to sudden onset shocks, within rapid response mechanisms, whether standalone as Multipurpose, or embedded in existing sectoral programmes or crisis modifiers
- As a systems approach that strengthens local capacity and links to durable solutions. This may involve linking with social protection systems, and/or contributing to improving the preparedness and shock responsiveness of systems.
The guidance within this policy document is structured according to the desired outcomes of cash humanitarian assistance. Each outcome is broken down into topics. Each topic is structured as follows:
- DG ECHO expectations
- What does this mean?
- Key considerations for partners
- How does this relate to other related topics/expectations?
- What resources are available?
The following cross-cutting issues are mainstreamed in, or integrated with, the narratives for each topic:
- protection and age mainstreaming, disability inclusion and risk-informed approaches participation and decision-making
- disaster preparedness and considerations for linking cash and social protection
- greening humanitarian assistance
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