Cash and Voucher Assistance and Gender-Based Violence Risk Mitigation Somalia

Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) experts from Somalia worked closely together between May 2020 and March 2021 to better understand the potential risks for women and girls that may be created by the provision of humanitarian cash assistance. Outcomes of this joint approach showcased the importance of concrete actions to ensure that CVA does not create more harm and GBV risks are mitigated before, during and after any humanitarian CVA intervention. This document highlights some of the key learning, listed below, which came out of this process: Cash actors should make specific efforts to include women, including divorcees and those living with a disability and/or those at risk of exclusion, in targeting criteria for multipurpose or sectoral CVA; Due to anecdotal evidence of bias, opportunities and potential risks of “community-based targeting” need to be further analysed; Risks of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) are present at all levels: coordination between protection and CVA actors need to be further enhanced in order to have stronger accountability towards affected populations; Strong feedback mechanisms must be in place, ensuring that communication is facilitated in the safest way, as local NGOs perceive that many GBV and SEA survivors will avoid reporting, fearing that it may affect their assistance; Mobile money allows for discretion as well as an entry point to hotlines or other specialised services through a cell phone and SIM card, however women’s regular and private access to a phone should be explored and ensured. Actors at field level insisted on the importance of institutional and donor support. Therefore, the work plan summarized in this learning brief will be formally presented to the Somalia Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) in April and further meetings are being organised with the Somalia Donor Cash Forum.