Anticipatory action and cash transfers for slow-onset hazard events

Asia and the Pacific, one of the most hazard prone-regions in the world, is now starting to grapple with an increasing number of slow-onset hazard crises. Events such as droughts and extreme winter seasons are becoming the norm, unfolding gradually and often eluding immediate recognition even as they leave enduring imprints on ecosystems, economies, and societies. These slow-onset hazards disproportionately affect marginalised groups, including women and minorities, who often face heightened vulnerabilities due to existing socioeconomic and cultural disparities. Unlike sudden-onset events, these slow-onset hazards unfold over an extended period, testing the adaptive capacities of communities and challenging conventional disaster response frameworks. This paper aims to explore multiple case studies on the slow-onset anticipatory cash topic, consolidating existing knowledge and scrutinising gaps that demand deeper investigation. It underscores the need to tailor cash interventions in AA and ensure that these interventions are sensitive to the diverse needs and challenges faced by all community members. The findings are based on consultations with communities and governments in Mongolia, Viet Nam, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and Tuvalu, as well as regional perspectives from over 30 agencies that are part of the Asia-Pacific Technical Working Group on Anticipatory Action (TWGAA) and the Asia-Pacific Regional Cash Working Group (RCWG). The authors aimed to explore diverse contexts – from some of the most populated countries to the least – to understand how cash can be effectively utilised in different settings for AA in slow-onset hazards. In the realm of slow-onset hazards, the focus will be on droughts and extreme winter seasons, aligning with the body of learning that has unfolded in Asia and the Pacific thus far.