A Case Study on Shock Responsive Social Protection: Horizontal Expansion during the 2022 unseasonal floods in Nepal

Nepal has been hit by unseasonal floods for two consecutive years. This has heavily impacted the agrarian country as the floods coincided with rice harvesting season. With financial support from the European Union Humanitarian Aid Operations, the Nepal Red Cross Society and Danish Red Cross has been exploring ways of leveraging the social protection programs for disaster relief, both before and after floods. In response to the 2022 unseasonal floods, the red cross transferred multi-purpose cash assistance to cover total impacted households within its targeted geographical area by leveraging the government’s social protection program. As the program did not cover the entire flood affected population, the program’s beneficiary list was temporarily expanded to include the remaining households. Independent evaluation of the horizontal expansion shows that the affected population can receive the cash transfer immediately within a week of a small to medium scale disaster. And since local markets were uninterrupted under such circumstances, early cash response can support in meeting the most basic and urgent needs of the affected families in immediate aftermath of a disaster. This process can also be easily applied to transfer cash in anticipation of disasters. The proof of concepts recommends SRSP as a feasible solution to not only an efficient but also a dignified emergency response.