Pakistan Cash Working Group

Pakistan Cash Working Group (CWG) was established as a sub-group of Food Security Cluster in May 2012 at national and provincial level in Sindh whereas it was materialized formally in October 2012 at provincial level in KPK for Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) in KPK and FATA. WFP and FAO co-lead the CWG since its establishment along with support from a co-opted co-chair. ACF International was the co-chair since 2012 till mid-June 2015 who was later replaced by ACTED in 2015 through a competitive process.

The major objective is to jointly define and adhered to basic parameters for the use of Cash and Voucher Assistance with the objective of ensuring efficiency in the response, sharing learning and enabling coordination and collaboration. The Cash Working Group is intended to be a mechanism and platform for collaboration and targeted information sharing, supporting the members for planning for different modalities of Cash and Voucher Assistance along with learning related to multiple sectors CVA along with emergency preparedness and response in Pakistan.

For additional information and resources please see the Pakistan Cash Working Group page on Humanitarian Response

News and Updates

CaLP Cash and Voucher Assistance Level 2 training for Pakistan Cash Working Group, 30 May - 3 June 2016

Pakistan Cash Working Group (CWG) under the umbrella of Food Security Cluster has organised a five days CaLP Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) level 2 training on 30 May - 3 June 2016 in Islamabad. A regular feature of CWG is to develop a capacity building plan for CWG members. In this 5-day CaLP CVA level 2 training conducted at national level, CWG members of I/NGOs and UN Organizations, National and Provincial level staff have participated. For more information please find attached summary document.

Development of Guidelines for Cash and Voucher Interventions

Pakistan CWG (FSC) developed the Guidelines for Cash and Vouchers Interventions in January 2013. These were developed in consultation with various organizations and stakeholders involved in Cash and Voucher Assistance and are focused on the use of cash and voucher transfers within the context of humanitarian response and have been developed to i) assist the organizations within the FSC in the appropriate planning and implementation of cash and voucher interventions; ii) assist in deciding when cash and voucher interventions are the most appropriate; and iii) Provide guidance on all stages of programming from assessment, decision making, operational planning and implementation to monitoring and evaluation. Along with the mentioned objectives, the guidelines also capture the existing cash delivery mechanisms in Pakistan along with some of the best practices implemented by various organizations.

Capacity Building of Stakeholders

Specific trainings have been organised which were developed on the basis of feedback and suggestions of organizations by member organizations in the FSC Evaluation Surveys and Training Needs Assessment (TNA). So far, three trainings have been organized:

  1. Market Assessment for Cash Interventions
  2. Basic Course on Cash and Voucher Assistance
  3. Use of Cash Transfers in Disaster Risk Reduction

1. Market Assessment for Cash Interventions

Cash & Vouchers are means of resources to beneficiaries empowering them to use assistance in a way that best meets their needs and also to inject resources into the local economy to create a multiplier effect. The major consideration for the decision making regarding the implementation of cash interventions are the functional markets with intact market chains, availability of basic food and non-food items in the local markets, presence of financial service providers including banking network (branches and/ or branchless banking), telecommunication companies and post offices.

The main objective of the training was to build the capacity of humanitarian organizations in conducting market assessment and strengthen decision making in planning cash-based interventions. The training objectives included the understanding of conceptual links between food security and markets, how the market assessment plays a key role in decision making for cash and vouchers, key indicators of market assessment and their identification, key elements to be considered for market functionality and conducting a trader’s survey.

2. Basic Course on Cash and Voucher Assistance

The FSC and CWG received a positive feedback from the participating organizations in the previous trainings on market assessments organized in 2013. On the basis of the requirements and feedback along with the finding from the pre-circulated TNA, CWG designed the basic course for Cash and Voucher Assistance. The major objective of the training was ‘to strengthen skills of practitioners in the planning and implementation of Cash and Voucher Assistance’. The allied objectives include assessing the appropriateness of Cash and Voucher Assistance, selection of most appropriate transfer modality, setting the transfer value, cash delivery mechanisms; managing risks and the CVA cycle.

3. Use of Cash Transfers in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

Cash transfers are being used in all sectors of humanitarian assistance starting from relief to recovery and development. The Sustainable Livelihoods Framework highlights the five categories of assets upon which livelihoods depend:natural, human, physical, financial, and social and political. It also highlights the interaction between the vulnerability context and people’s abilities to secure assets. Disasters can have serious negative impacts on key sectors of agriculture, infrastructure, housing, health, education and the environment. There is a crucial need for mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction in Pakistan to increase the resilience of communities to future disasters, minimize losses to their homes, survival stocks of food/non-food items, and preserve productive assets such as livestock, agriculture, and other critical livelihoods.

  • These trainings were led by FAO and ACF.
  • The trainings were held on:
    • 3rd - 4th June 2014 in Hyderabad
    • 10th - 11th June 2014 in Peshawar 
    • 5th - 6th August 2014 in Sukkur

The objectives of these set of training revolves around the above mentioned theory regarding the enhancement of the understanding on the DRR system importance and framework; Linkage between Disaster Risk Reduction, Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaption; and Integration/Mainstreaming DRR into different sectors.

The above mentioned trainings have been attended by staff of NGOs, Government and UN agencies. To make the trainings participatory, ample time was given to share experiences from different organizations (the best practices, challenges, and lessons learnt) in Cash and Voucher Assistance implemented in different regions of Pakistan and in response to different emergency contexts.

Multi-Agency Meetings and Workshops

  • These trainings were led by WFP DRR consultant supported by Cash & Voucher focal person WFP and CWG coordinator from FAO.
  • The training sessions were held on 19th& 20th December 2014 in Karachi and 26th& 27th December 2014 in Islamabad

Pakistan CWG has been an interactive platform for discussions, knowledge sharing and dissemination of information. Workshops and multi-agency meetings held provided a joint forum for humanitarian and non-humanitarian organizations to share their projects, lessons learnt, challenges, and best practices. Opportunities have been provided to several financial service providers to present their potential products to be used for cash transfers and also to liaise with other humanitarian organizations building partnerships for successful project implementation.

Workshops on voucher transfers, and new technologies in cash transfers were organized in June 2012 and January 2013 with the objectives of experience sharing and learning. Presentations were given by organizations that have implemented Cash and Voucher Assistance in Pakistan with a focus on overall strategies, pre-conditions, transfer modality implemented, what worked, the challenges, and lessons learnt for future programming.

Following workshops were held through the platform of CWG:

  • Workshop on voucher programmes(June 2012 in Islamabad).
  • Workshop on cash transfer technology (January 2013 in Sindh).
  • Workshop on cash transfer technology (January 2013 in Peshawar).

Harmonisation of the Daily Wage Rates for North Waziristan Agency Fata

Harmonizing the cash transfer rates is one of the major objectives of the CWG Pakistan. Complete harmonization of the cash transfer values cannot be done as the amounts may vary due to different project objectives of each implementing organization. CWG took an initiative to bring all discussions at a single table in a joint meeting of FSC and CWG held in Peshawar on 26th August, 2014. It was proposed, discussed and agreed upon that instead of fixing a single amount of cash transfer to beneficiaries for all agencies, it is more appropriate and practical to agree on the daily wage rate in CFW for un-skilled and skilled labor as per the local labor market. The wage rates and the guiding principles were developed for the time period the families are in the hosting areas and the return process does not take place and will be revised once the return process starts and the families have moved to their areas of origin. CWG will review the rates with Clusters, member organizations, and relevant government departments for revision accordingly.

Cash Working Group Documents

This dashboard covers multiple contexts of emergencies in Pakistan and assistance provided by humanitarian actors by cash based programming as following:

- Complex Emergency Situation KP/FATA (returnee, IDPs and hosting families)

- Drought: Singh

- Early Recovery: Flood 2014 and 2015

Key Resources

Cash Working Group Pakistan Annual Report, 2012-2015




Multi-Cluster Initial Rapid Assessment Report Bannu-FATA, July 2014




Detailed Food Security Assessment KP/FATA, 2014




 Livelihood Recovery Appraisal Summarized Report, 2013




Livelihood Recovery Appraisal Detailed Report, 2013


Country Information

Capital: Islamabad

Population: 196,174,380 (2014)

Area: 803,940 km2

Official Language: English, Urdu

GDP per capita: $ 1,312 (April 2015)

Currency: Pakistani rupee (₨) (PKR)

Time Zone: PKT (UTC+5), summer (DST) – (UTC+6)

Contact Information

Rabeea Ahmed

Sr. Programme Associate Cash and Vouchers

United Nations World Food Programme Pakistan


Habib Wardag

Assistant Food Security Cluster Coordinator (CWG)

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Pakistan


Saminullah Afridi

Humanitarian Affairs Officer 

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)


Useful Links