Cash Assistance in Contexts of High Inflation and Depreciation: Challenges, Dilemmas and Way Forward

Cash assistance is an effective response option because of its potential to enable choice among recipients. In most scenarios, it offers the best value for money and is a relatively fast and effective way to save lives, alleviate suffering, and preserve human dignity in a humanitarian context. As global inflation1 continues to affect the most vulnerable populations most severely, humanitarian organisations are grappling with ways to maintain effectiveness, efficiency and coherence of cash assistance in a volatile economic environment. This brief discusses the key challenges, dilemmas and recommendations garnered from technical support provided to cash working groups (CWGs) in Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Malawi in February and March 2023. The technical support was built on CALP’s Cash Assistance in Contexts of High Inflation and Depreciation2 and WFP’s Doing Cash in a Context of Economic Volatility: What to Do and What to Keep in Mind.3