Cash and Voucher Assistance

Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) refers to all programmes where cash transfers or vouchers for goods or services are directly provided to recipients. In the context of humanitarian assistance, the term is used to refer to the provision of cash transfers or vouchers given to individuals, household or community recipients; not to governments or other state actors.

There is no longer serious dispute about whether cash can significantly improve humanitarian aid. Established humanitarian actors now invest in cash at greater scale and more consistently than ever before. It is at the forefront of innovation for people in crisis.

The State of World’s Cash Report

Cash is increasingly becoming mandatory in many aspects of humanitarian response. The question has changed from, ‘Can we use cash?’ to ‘Why cash isn’t being used?’.

Tearfund uses CVA as its preferred modality to respond to humanitarian crises and to complement livelihood activities in countries where it operates directly and where it has a presence through partners. In line with the CaLP Global Framework for Action and the Grand Bargain, Tearfund’s standard practice is to build sufficient capacity, to invest in supporting national and local organisations to build leadership and capacity.

Starting from 2014 in the Middle East, Tearfund currently uses CVA in Africa, Asia, Latin and Central America. Tailored to each context, Tearfund CVA’s activities are a combination of multipurpose cash transfers, sector specific cash transfers, and vouchers and grants for livelihood start-up activities. To facilitate the implementation of CVA activities, Tearfund and its partners are piloting and using different technologies such as mobile money, smart cards and blockchain.


Humanitarian case transfers front coverHumanitarian cash transfers through self-help groups: Making the Most of Local Approaches? (PDF 1.6 MB)
This report contains findings from an impact study of a pilot project carried out in Ethiopia, in 2016. Through the pilot project, one-off humanitarian cash grants were provided to and through self-help groups to enable them to better cope with the effects of drought.