In conversation: linking humanitarian cash and social protection in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: successes and challenges in ensuring inclusive responses


 It is recognised in the current response to COVID-19 that both social protection and humanitarian actors must work together in different ways across the ‘nexus’ depending on country context, and that one actor alone cannot and should not do it all.

In order to address the wide range of needs emanating from the pandemic, and particularly those of a socio-economic nature, the use of cash has been the response of choice for governments expanding their systems (for social assistance, public works, unemployment, pension schemes, etc.). The same is true for humanitarian actors (unconditional cash, cash for work, cash+, enhanced minimum expenditure baskets).

This webinar provided the opportunity to hear from humanitarian and social protection actors as they shared their experiences in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It allowed for a conversation between those involved in responding to the crisis and the successes and challenges in ensuring inclusion, drawing from their experiences in the occupied Palestinian territories, Somalia, Syria and the Philippines. The discussion shed light on a number of issues including:

  • The ways in which humanitarian, development and government actors have coordinated or aligned their responses to ensure that the needs of marginalized and at-risk groups are prioritised
  • At what stages of design and implementation (policy; planning/design; implementation) has there been success in ensuring inclusive linked humanitarian cash and social protection responses to the pandemic?
  • What challenges have been faced in ensuring inclusive action in linked responses and how could this be addressed in future?



Mr. Guhad Adan, Independent Consultant, Somalia

Ms. Najla Shawa, Oxfam, Food Security Manager – occupied Palestinian Territories

Ms. Aimee Santos, UNFPA, Gender-based Violence Programme Officer – Philippines

Ms. Hala Darwish, UNICEF, Social Policy Officer, Syria



Andrew Patterson, CARE USA Knowledge Management and Learning Specialist



Lois Austin, GB Sub-Group KML Consultant


This webinar is part of the Linking Social Protection with humanitarian cash webinar series, of the Grand Bargain Cash Sub Group on linking social protection and humanitarian cash transfers co-led by UNICEFIFRC, and DFID