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Introduction

Pakistan is prone to natural disasters including floods, earthquake and tsunamis. Since the mega-floods in 2010 both the GOP and the humanitarian community (UN and NGOs) have responded by progressively increasing utilization of cash-based transfers to complement various types of in-kind assistance. Cash has been successfully used for food provision, shelter and to support livelihood activities of affected populations, among other purposes. This experience of design, implementation and evaluation of cash-based programmes in Pakistan has generated valuable knowledge that is being applied to improve humanitarian response in Pakistan.

The decision to implement a cash programme depends on a context-specific analysis of people’s basic and livelihood needs, the situation of markets, security, timeliness of intervention, availability of a cost-effective cash disbursement mechanism, beneficiary preferences and an analysis of the costs and benefits cash vs in kind assistance.

Organizations implementing cash interventions are active in research and development to identify how risks can be best mitigated through cash transfers and how early action can be taken. The Government is taking active steps towards to the integration of humanitarian cash transfers in the long-term social protection systems of the country to increase cost-effectiveness and sustainability.