Evidence and practice review of the use of cash transfers in contexts of acute food insecurity

Hunger affects 10% of the global population, with the rate of undernutrition having increased by 150 million people from 2019 to 2022 as a result of conflict, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic (the “three Cs”). Projections of undernourishment indicate that by 2030, 670 million people will be undernourished. As the three Cs impact global hunger, there has been an attempt to shift the paradigm of food security interventions by prioritising a systems approach that addresses the root causes of food insecurity and builds resilience.
The volume of cash and voucher assistance (CVA) has increased in the past six years, reaching 6.7 billion USD in 2021.1 However, the growth rate of funding has been stalling. Despite the increase in the acceptance of CVA, a large portion of which is dedicated to preventing the further deterioration of food security and helping to improve it, there is inconsistency in the choice of modalities, application and general practices across contexts facing acute food insecurity. The use of CVA to meet food security outcomes continues to fall short of its potential.