For some time aid agencies and donors have recognised the benefits of utilising markets to deliver food assistance. And for almost as long, cash-based programming has been effective in doing this by improving people’s ability to purchase sufficient nutritious food.
Addressing hunger through cash and voucher programmes removes the cost of transporting and storing food for implementing organisations, boosts the local economy, provides a wider choice and variety of food for beneficiaries, and restores a level of control and dignity for those receiving food assistance.
Yet, for all the benefits it brings, cash-based programming is not appropriate in every context. It requires functioning, competitive, accessible and well-supplied markets and performs best in contexts where the economy and local currency are stable.
In South Sudan, Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites, where civilians have settled on UN premises to escape violence, present a unique set of circumstances, challenges and opportunities for the effective delivery of food assistance through cash or vouchers.
The successful introduction of vouchers in Juba PoC, as one of World Vision and World Food Programme’s (WFP) modalities for the delivery of food assistance, demonstrates the potential for well-planned cash-based programmes to complement in-kind distributions in these settlements.
- VIDEO: Hear from a mother who uses the vouchers to buy food from her children, a trader who participates in the program and Gift Sibanda, the project manager and author of this case study.
- See our other recent disaster management publications, including a case study on nutrition programming in South Sudan and our education program in conflict-affected Iraq.