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Cash Transfers in Emergencies: Evaluating Benefits and Assessing Risks

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Analysis
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Focusing on distribution in natural disasters and/or in relatively peaceful settings, this paper reviews the theoretical underpinnings of a cash-based approach to food emergencies, and presents case-studies of cash distribution drawn from Africa, South Asia and the Balkans.

Highlighting both the risks and the benefits of cash-based responses as against traditional food aid, the paper concludes by setting out the conditions under which cash aid might be an appropriate response, and highlights how its associated risks can be minimised.