Cash Transfer Programming (CTP) is increasingly used for humanitarian response with the recognition that CTP can complement the provision of in-kind assistance during emergencies. Provision of cash, when appropriate, empowers the affected population to decide on their own how to meet their own needs using available local resources.
From 2009 to 2013, a total of 53 donors were reported to have spent US$692 million on cash transfers to assist disaster affected population worldwide. CTP is increasingly becoming a major modality of humanitarian assistance where there is a functioning local market.
Cash assistance may be categorized into unconditional or conditional. Unconditional cash transfer is a grant provided to beneficiaries without any specific obligations to fulfill. On the other hand, conditional cash transfer is one that beneficiaries need to specifically spend on particular needs such as food, education or healthcare, among others.
Cash as a modality of humanitarian assistance in the Philippines
In the Philippines, humanitarian agencies have been using CTP as part of relief and early recovery response. CTP was used in several emergencies since 2009 including Tropical Storm Ketsana, Tropical Storm Washi, Typhoon Bopha and in 2013 during the Typhoon Haiyan. Implementation of CTP was used on a large scale for Haiyan with some 45 organizations implementing CTP amounting to $34 million (1.5 billion Philippine pesos).
Based on lessons learned from previous emergencies and taking stock of the wider use of cash during the Haiyan response, the Philippines Humanitarian Country Team and partners, through the Cash Working Group (CWG), are undertaking emergency response preparedness activities.
The Cash Working Group (CWG), with a Steering Committee, look into operational and technical aspects of CTP. OCHA in collaboration with CWG are mapping financial service providers and CTP implementing agencies throughout the Philippines. Partnerships for pre-agreements between implementing agencies and the private sector are also being reviewed.