The Other Side of the Coin: The Comparative Evidence of Cash and In-Kind Transfers in Humanitarian Situations

by Ugo Gentilini
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank, 2016

69 pp. 1.4 MB
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Over 60 million people are currently displaced due to conflict or violence, and about 140 million are exposed to natural disasters. As part of humanitarian responses to those affected populations, growing attention is paid to cash transfers as a form of assistance. Cash is being strongly advocated by several actors, and for good reasons: they have the potential to provide choice, empower people, and spark economic multipliers. But what is their comparative performance relative to in-kind transfers? Are there objectives for which there are particular evidence gaps? And what should be considered when choosing between those forms of assistance?

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