Cash transfers in The Gambia

12 Nov 2012

Cash transfers in The Gambia - Woman in Gambisara signs for cash with a thumbprint

Concern Universal is distributing cash transfers to 20,000 Gambians affected by the Sahel crisis.

Concern Universal is delivering a pilot initiative with the World Food Programme to give Gambians affected by drought in the Sahel cash instead of emergency food aid. It’s the first time the World Food Programme is carrying out ‘cash transfers’, which put money in the local economy and allows people to make their own choices about the food they want.

Thousands of Gambians are suffering food shortages due to poor harvests last year, which has caused a prolonged hungry season. Concern Universal, with support from the World Food Programme and local partners WASDA and NACCUG, are distributing 283 Dalasi (£6 or $9 US) per person per month to 20,000 people in the Upper River Region.

Georgie Kane of Concern Universal The Gambia said, "This type of support puts money in the local economy and allows people to make their own choices on the food they want - a kind of mini economic stimulus for the targeted districts."

The World Food Programme wrote, “Although this [region] was programmed for a food distribution the potential for using other delivery tools is a consideration in all WFP operations. Social transfers specifically Cash and Voucher is becoming the preferred option where the right circumstances prevail and especially if this tool is deemed more cost efficient and effective."

Why are cash transfers sometimes better than food aid? Read our blog.

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