Guest essay by Eric Worrall
People in the Solomon Islands and other remote regions are to be encouraged to open bank accounts to they can receive cash, every time one of the alphabet soup of aid agencies which operate in those regions feels they need to do more good.
Climate change makes cash and vouchers essential — here’s what is needed to make it happen
By Lisa Cornish // 21 May 2020
The Pacific Cash Preparedness Partnership, a five-year initiative led by Oxfam, Save the Children, and the World Food Programme, is supporting research on cash and voucher assistance, or CVA, in the region. The partnership’s new “Solomon Islands Cash Transfer Feasibility Study” adds to a body of literature, including studies from Vanuatu in February 2019 and Fiji in May 2019, that is identifying the feasibility of CVA programming and what is required to support wider implementation.
“To be in a position to roll out cash programming after a disaster, we need to introduce the concept to communities, national and local governments, civil society organizations, and private sector companies,” Archie Law, humanitarian director for Save the Children Australia, told Devex. “It’s about setting up the systems first to ensure cash programming can be used in a fast, efficient, and dignified way straight after a disaster.”
Most households that were surveyed preferred unconditional cash over other forms of short-term assistance to get needed items from local markets and canteens following a natural disaster.
With the need to better support remote communities immediately following disasters, the report provides a number of guidelines. A key recommendation is to work with commercial banks, remittance agencies, and mobile money providers to establish systems for mass registrations of bank accounts and other transfer systems to increase the number of cash-out services across the islands.
Partnering with local banks to encourage customers to open accounts and provide financial literacy training is also seen as a priority in building greater financial inclusion.
Wow. If I had to put up with those busybodies trying to organise my life, I’d probably want to buy more alcohol. I’m glad the World Bank produced a study which shows that recipients of their increasingly streamlined aid cash delivery system only spend the money on goods and services aid agencies would approve.