Ambae Monaro Volcano Response: Cash Transfer Programme for Recovery of Volcano-Affected Households, Emergency Market Mapping & Analysis (EMMA) – Maewo Island


Executive Summary

Oxfam, with the support and partnership with the Government of New Zealand (MFAT), has been considering the possibilities and feasibility of providing cash-based humanitarian assistance in order to support evacuees and host families located on the island of Maewo. The purpose of this assessment is to determine whether market conditions in Maewo are conducive to the delivery of this type of assistance, and therefore whether the implementation of a cash transfer programme (CTP) would be feasible and beneficial for Ambae evacuees, host communities, and the local economy of Maewo.

The following report contains a detailed market assessment of Maewo island for the purposes of informing the design of an appropriate cash transfer or other humanitarian intervention to support the recovery of evacuees located there. Market assessment is a critical component of cash transfer programming, as it is a market-based approach to the delivery of humanitarian assistance. This type of assessment is considered best practice prior to implementation. By understanding what goods and supplies are available, in quantities, at what prices, and whether there is sufficient presence of financial services to facilitate payments to beneficiaries, Oxfam (and other humanitarian agencies) use a market analysis to determine whether or not a cash transfer programme can be implemented, and if yes, how. Where market conditions (such as supply and liquidity) are limited or at risk (inflation), in-kind assistance is most likely to be recommended as an appropriate intervention.

The content of this assessment focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of market systems (supply, demand, liquidity, transportation, price elasticity and infrastructure) in Maewo. The assessment seeks to indicate whether markets are resilient enough to support a cash transfer programme designed to meet the priority needs of evacuees and host families.

Four market systems were assessed in Maewo through a site vising conducting a consumer survey of 255 residents and evacuees, a retailer survey of 15 vendors, 28 interviews with producers, transport operators, and community leaders on Maewo and 2 focus groups with community members. The critical market supply chains investigated included food, hygiene products, shelter and livelihoods.