Responding to humanitarian emergencies is a primary focus of WFP. The choice of the assistance modality (food or cash) is based on feasibility and appropriateness. WFP brings food to places where markets are disrupted and less functional, while cash-based assistance is preferred in places where food is available and markets are well integrated. WFP Uganda is providing cash transfers to refugees residing in refugee settlements in West Nile and the South-Western regions of the country. Refugees need relief assistance to guarantee minimum food consumption and prevent malnutrition.
WFP’s cash assistance not only grants households greater agency in determining the makeup of their meals - an important social, psychological and cultural anchor for families living in uncertain times – it can also provide a substantial boost to local economies. A study conducted in Uganda in 2016 by researchers from the University of California at Davis, has shown that every US$ 1 given in cash to a refugee translates into about US$ 1.5 pumped into the local economy, compared to an average of approximately US$ 1 when food rations are provided.