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Cash transfers play bigger role in humanitarian contexts

Global spending on cash and vouchers in humanitarian contexts reached an estimated $2.8bn in 2016, according to the latest State of the World's Cash report.

The Cash Learning Partnership said that the total estimated spend had increased by 40% compared to 2015 and 100% compared to 2014, and now accounted for over ten per cent of total spending on humanitarian aid.

The report sets out hopes that there will be further increases in cash transfer programming and sets out priority actions to accelerate progress. "Realising the transformative potential of CTP requires significant changes to established ways of working within institutions and collectively."

Jan Egeland, Secretary General, the Norwegian Refugee Council, says in a forward to the report: "Imagine that you had to flee your home... an aid organisation arrives in your displacement camp. They come from far away and know neither your needs nor your heritage.

"Fortunately, they ask a question first: ‘Would you like us to give you boxes containing what we think you need, or would you like to receive cash and decide for yourself?’ Which would you choose? Personally, I would choose unconditional cash and decide for myself."

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