This article sheds light on opportunities presented by CTP to face the challenges posed by displacement, with a specific focus on Asia. CaLP’s briefing note highlights evolving practices in this area and key recommendations for practitioners working with CTP and POC to enhance the assessment, design, delivery and monitoring of CTP in POC contexts in Asia and beyond.
As of June 2016, an unprecedented 65.3 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 21.3 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. Asia is the third largest hosted region with 14%2 and is home to 7.7 million Persons of Concerns (POC). POC -including asylum seekers, refugees, stateless persons, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees - are one of the most vulnerable groups in the world. They are forcibly displaced by persecution, conflict, natural disasters and climate change.
Their available protection space is fragile, unpredictable and challenged by a lack of formal legal recognition and rights, access to basic services such as education and healthcare, and adequate opportunities for work. Only 12 out of 32 countries in Asia are signatories to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Optional Protocol.
The uptake of Cash Transfer Programming (CTP) in large-scale humanitarian responses and protracted crises has significantly increased in the last few years. Critically, the 2016 UN Secretary-General’s Agenda for Humanity calls for a commitment to “use cash-based programming as the preferred and default method of support”. CTP presents an opportunity to address the diversity of POC contexts and protracted needs; to support livelihoods and resilience; and to increase the potential for social cohesion through engagement in local economies and communities.
The Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP) Asia conducted a Cash Transfer Programming and Persons of Concern Workshop in Bangkok, Thailand on 14-15 March 2016, to increase knowledge and understanding of CTP for those providing assistance in humanitarian contexts for POC. The workshop brought together stakeholders from across Asia, including UN agencies, international and national NGOs, and community-based organisations. The briefing note aims to illustrate evolving practices for providing essential assistance to the most vulnerable POC and can be accessed through the CaLP Asia 2016 Cash Transfer Programming and Persons of Concern Workshop webpage.
The table below summarises key lessons outlined in the briefing note. Recommendations on CTP & POC underscore CaLP’s 2016-2020 strategy.
This article was written by Kanvara Suchitta CaLP's Asia Administration and Communications Officer.
 Asia countries that have ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention are Afghanistan, Cambodia, China, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste and Turkmenistan. Source UNHCR
 The Organisational Capacity Assessment Tool (OCAT) comprises a User Guide, Tool Worksheets for use in scoring and graphic results respectively, and a Recommendations Matrix. Assessment across six categories of organizational capacity, each with their own criteria. Scoring each criterion allows an organization to determine gaps and make recommendations for building the required capacity. (CaLP, n.d.).
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Isra and her family have been displaced twice – first from their home in Damascus, then from the Syrian town of Hasakah. Now settled in a village on the outskirts of Erbil in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, she is restarting her education at a local school, with the help of a UNICEF-supported cash grant programme. Read more here.