Cash, where appropriate and feasible, is a modality that has been shown to reinforce the dignity of crisis-affected populations. Oxfam believes that by using cash and vouchers in our humanitarian response we can bring:
- Dignity for women and men by providing choice and flexibility
- Cost-effectiveness - cash is cheaper and offers a faster response compared to in-kind approaches
- Economic recovery through injecting cash into markets and the local economy
- Empowerment by providing financial assistance to marginalized groups.
Through efficiency and effectiveness gains, and better support to local markets and economies, cash also enables Oxfam to reach a greater number of people in need.
When we work through local markets we support local economies, which can increase the chances of faster recovery. Most of the practical things people need after a crisis can be bought in local markets. Giving cash (or vouchers) allows people to choose what they need most while bolstering the prevailing market systems.
Oxfam has been a global leader in cash and voucher programming for more than 20 years, with specific emphasis on the use of these approaches in humanitarian responses. Currently delivery of aid through cash and vouchers represents an average of 23% of Oxfam's country office humanitarian budgets and it contributes a significant amount to the work being undertaken by Oxfam and its partners.
Oxfam's early experience in this type of programming allowed the organization to contribute towards seminal research on cash in humanitarian programmes. It also helped to raise the profile of cash in the humanitarian community. Oxfam was one of the five founding members of the Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP) in 2006, and we continue to be a leading member of this important network, which has grown to include over 80 members today.