by Georgina Sturge
Overseas Development Institute (ODI), 6 January 2017
Recent months have seen a proliferation of media reports attacking the UK aid programme – the latest target being cash transfers to the poor or, put differently, the “UK’s £1bn foreign aid cashpoint”. Cash transfers are increasingly being used to distribute foreign aid and have been defended by Downing Street as a particularly efficient way of reaching the world’s poorest. The rather confused criticism sees giving cash directly to those in need as somehow less acceptable than other forms of aid, and in the same breath condemns the general wasting of aid money. Here are five common myths about cash transfers followed by what we actually know about this form of aid.