Analysis: Emergency cash versus social protection in West Africa

June 26, 2013

"The impact of preventive emergency cash distributions on people's lives is starting to emerge, said Breyne. Studies of two ECHO-funded cash transfer programmes aimed at boosting nutrition (one of them linked with Action Against Hunger), showed that fewer households limited the types of food they ate; the poorest households were able to access more land to produce rice; and malnutrition rates decreased by 44.5 percent, according to Breyne. Other expected benefits include enabling households to build up their food stocks in advance of a shock; maintain access to health or education (if they ever had it); and limit their negative coping strategies. Given the chance, families 'invest in their own livelihoods to avoid pulling their children out of school, and to limit their negative coping strategies such as deepening indebtedness, or selling off their harvest as soon as they have reaped it,' said Rehm. "