Cash and Voucher Assistance: Preparedness Actions
Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) refers to programs where cash transfers or vouchers for goods or services are directly provided to people affected by disasters. Benefits of cash transfers include providing dignity to beneficiaries, who can decide the best way in which to invest that support: buying food, paying debts, or repairing their houses or business, for instance. Risks associated to CVA can be approached by taking different mitigation measures among different programmatic axis.
Cash preparedness is an ongoing capacity development initiative that aims to increase CVA capability through integrating CVA to other programs with the objective that CVA becomes an organic part of the Red Cross response, and strengthening leadership support on CVA, coordination and communication.
Red Cross teams are cash ready when they are able and likely to deliver appropriate assistance in the form of scalable, timely, and accountable CVA. There are different levels to know and evaluate when a NS is CVA-ready. Further resources to learn more about CVA include the Cash Toolkit and the Cash Hub.
The Colombian Red Cross experience
Since 1997, the Red Cross in Colombia has prepared and started implementing CVA programs in different areas of the country with different beneficiaries, including work with victims of the armed conflict and later with the emergency caused by the Galeras volcano. CVA programs have gone hand in hand with livelihood programs. Right now, the Red Cross counts with a Strategic Plan for CVA, creating a synergy between the Admin, Financial, and Programme departments in the SN. CVA program was a success when responding to Iota in the Providencia Island, where volunteers were trained on livelihoods and CVA, and the Red Cross carried out detailed needs assessments, feasibility studies and evaluations of financial providers able to implement the CVA approach.
Working and coordinate with the Cash Working Group if in the country is a great way to align CVA actions in country.