Save the Children has begun rolling out Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) preparedness and response programs across the Pacific with the support of the Australian Government.
In November of 2020, Save the Children in Papua New Guinea conducted feasibility risk assessments in 8 provinces, 13 districts, 23 LLGs, and 41 wards to see if the project and the approaches used are appropriate during a humanitarian response. The assessments were done in ARoB, Central, East Sepik, Eastern Highlands, Jiwaka, Morobe, NCD, and Western provinces.
The feasibility risk assessment results were shared with the Minister for Community Development Waki Goi and his team to see how we can work with the government to set up a National Cash Working Group.
A training session was also held with stakeholders from government, NGO, and corporate sectors explaining what CVA is, how it can be used, and the kind of groups who will benefit from it during a disaster or humanitarian response.
Save the Children’s CVA Senior Advisor Nashrudin Modin has set up CVA programs in the Pacific and other parts of the world and said that CVA is a flexible and efficient way of helping affected communities to recover after a disaster.
“Cash and voucher assistance can be used across all the different programs such as Food Security, Health, WASH and education to name a few,’’ he said.
Disaster Management Team Secretariate Richard Higgins highlighted that using cash and vouchers to deliver assistance following a humanitarian crisis is a new concept to PNG but has proven to be effective and efficient in other parts of the Pacific, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
“This training is critical for the government and implementing partners to understand the risks and benefits of cash and voucher assistance, not only as a tool for effective humanitarian assistance but also as a social protection mechanism as well as to help them better understand its flexibility and efficiency in meeting the needs of people,’’ he said.
Higgins further iterated that it is the Government’s responsibility to provide social protection mechanisms to its people and to lead in the delivery of humanitarian assistance following any humanitarian crisis.
“A national Cash and Voucher Assistanceworking group, led by the Department for Community Development and Religion, is essential to develop best practices, policies, and procedures while working with implementing partners, markets and financial institutions to mitigate risks.”
This Cash Voucher Assistance program is part of Disaster Preparedness and is supported by the Australian Government and implemented through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP).