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Day 3 : CaLP Press Release : Ban Ki-moon - give people cash not goods as best form of assistance in emergency

The UN Secretary-General calls for cash-based assistance to become the default method to support people in emergencies wherever possible, echoing recommendations from the Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP) and  its wider community of practice[1], paving the way for a global reshaping of humanitarian aid.

In the report "One Humanity, Shared responsibility" released last week for the World Humanitarian Summit, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urges leaders to put people at the centre and support their capacity to adapt and recover from crisis. Cash transfers are key to achieving this. Acknowledging the positive impact on local communities and markets, the reports states that "[...] cash-based programming supports the agency of people by allowing them to purchase the goods and services they need most while also supporting local economies. Where markets and operational contexts permit, cash-based programming should be the preferred and default method of support."

With this very statement, the report embodies what the Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP) has been advocating for and working towards in the past 10 years: to ensure that cash transfer programming in emergencies is routinely considered as a scalable component of quality, timely and appropriate preparedness, emergency response and early recovery.

Research shows that people often prefer receiving cash because it gives them greater choice and control over how best to meet their own needs, and a greater sense of dignity. It usually costs less to get cash transfers to people than in-kind assistance because aid agencies do not need to transport and store in kind relief. Cash assistance can also support the local economy to recover quickly.  

The UN Secretary General’s call is a key breakthrough in the build up to the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), which will take place on 23 and 24 May 2016 in Istanbul. The Summit aims to change the way the world supports people in need by proposing solutions to our most pressing challenges and setting an agenda to keep humanitarian action fit for the future. CaLP is looking forward to work with its membership and wider community of practice to contribute to fulfilling the vision expressed in the report and to identify practical steps for all actors involved in humanitarian assistance, placing beneficiary choice at the centre of humanitarian action.

The UNSG report can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/1SdH0Ln


For interviews, please contact:

Paula Gil Baizan, CaLP Advocacy Coordinator

advocacy@cashlearning.org - +33(0)684005814


Information on CaLP's activities:



[1] Previous key studies, policy developments and learning events including but not limited to CaLP’s ‘Fit for the Future’ Research (2013), ECHO’s 10 common principles for multi-purpose cash-based assistance to respond to humanitarian needs (2014), SDC-CaLP-OCHA Global Cash Coordination Learning Event (2015) and ODI’s High Level Cash Panel Report – Doing Cash Differently (2015).


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