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Multi-purpose cash grants

Multipurpose Cash Assistance (MPCA) or Multipurpose Cash Grants (MPGs) are unrestricted cash transfers that people affected by crises can use to cover their basic needs. By its nature, MPCA is the assistance modality which offers people a maximum degree of choice, flexibility and dignity. There is also growing evidence that it is more cost-efficient and cost-effective to meet multiple needs.

The transfers can be either one off or regular, and the amount of money is based on how much a household needs to cover a set of basic and/or recovery needs.

By their nature, multipurpose cash grants are the assistance modality which offers people affected by crisis a maximum degree of choice, flexibility and dignity. There is also growing evidence that they are more cost-efficient and cost-effective to meet multiple needs. Multipurpose cash grants can also contribute to more successful sector-specific interventions, by ensuring basic needs are covered and thus enabling crisis-affected persons to utilise in-kind goods and access services.

MPGs encourage humanitarian actors to better understand the local economy and market dynamics in a holistic way, whether the program objective is to meet sector-specific needs or a range of needs that may differ from family to family.

Operational guidance and toolkit for Multipurpose Cash Grants

This operational guidance and toolkit brings together worldwide expertise on cash-based interventions (CBIs). It provides comprehensive and practical guidance for humanitarian actors to assess the feasibility, conceptualise the design and structure the implementation of MPGs. The guidance focuses on MPGs whose primary objective is to meet basic needs as defined by affected people themselves, International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law and Sphere Standards. However, the nature of MPGs means they can be easily "topped" up for time-bound and specific needs that can be met by cash, e.g. school supplies or seasonal livelihoods activities.

As MPGs present both opportunities and risks from a protection and "Do No Harm" perspective, protection features prominently in the guidance and toolkit. However, many of the "protection flags" that appear in each section are not specific to MPGs but applicable to all forms of assistance, both in-kind and cash-based.

Find our more about MPGs on the Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP) website.