Cash in conflict

Cash is the main means with which people pay for goods and services all around the world. This fact does not change because there is an emergency. Having cash in their hands can be the difference between life and death for people affected by armed conflict.

Cash in Conflict 1084 x 610

© Revol Didier / ICRC

Cash Transfer Programming (CTP) has several significant benefits that are well known, including increasing people’s dignity, power, autonomy and choice in how they manage their survival and recovery. CTP can also offer greater operational flexibility and achieve wider social and economic multiplier effects beyond its specific purpose.

The ICRC – who have 16,800 staff in over 80 countries, helping people affected by armed conflict and violence – is enthusiastic about the benefits of CTP and realistic about when it is best to use it. Our experience and evidence shows that cash is an essential tool in humanitarian action in armed conflict, and our own operational analysis confirms many of the positive findings from other policy and academic studies.

This section of the Cash Hub aims to share the experience of the ICRC and of those Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies working in countries affected by conflict and other situations of violence.

Read the latest report on:  Cash Transfer Programming in Armed Conflict: The ICRC’s Experience

Money is the main means of survival for most people around the world, and this does not change in armed conflict: having cash to buy essential goods can mean the difference between life and death. Read on to find out about the ICRC’s experience of using CTP in armed conflict.

10 Mar 2017

Type: Photo gallery

Organisation: ICRC

Thérèse opened a restaurant in November 2016 thanks to her business acumen and ICRC's financing program, which gave her a cash grant of USD 120 to invest in her business.

  • Cash in conflict
  • Cash in emergencies
  • Africa

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10 Jan 2017

Type: Photo gallery

Organisation: ICRC

In Masbate, Philippines, workers take part in a cash for work program to construct a river wall to prevent flash floods and erosion from damaging houses.

  • Cash in conflict
  • Cash in emergencies
  • Asia-Pacific

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12 Dec 2016

Type: Article

Organisation: ICRC

In Atotsi, Georgia, families received training in business skills, coaching and conditional cash grants to enable them to start small businesses and earn enough income to support themselves.

  • Cash in conflict
  • Cash in emergencies
  • Europe

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28 Oct 2016

Type: Article

Organisation: ICRC

"Rations of rice, beans and oil are a precious source of aid, but sometimes people just need money." In Cameroon's Far North province, 500 families displaced by the conflict received cash to meet their basic monthly needs.

  • Cash in conflict
  • Cash in emergencies
  • Africa

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27 Sep 2016

Type: Article

Organisation: ICRC

Daw Jhone Zay used her business skills to set up a shop in the IDP camp in Shan State, Myanmar where she lives. ICRC's cash grant helped her build her business, diversifying her inventory and maintaining sufficient stock levels to meet demand.

  • Cash in conflict
  • Cash in emergencies
  • Asia-Pacific

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14 Jun 2016

Type: Article

Organisation: ICRC

Kavitha is a widow who lost her husband to the conflict. She opened a small grocery store with her cash grant from ICRC, and is now able to cover her daily household expenses and save for her children’s future.

  • Cash in conflict
  • Cash in emergencies
  • Asia-Pacific

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30 May 2016

Type: Article

Organisation: ICRC

A cash for work programme in Beddawe, Lebanon, renovates apartments where refugee families are living. The Ahmad family is the first of many refugee families to benefit; with the new apartment and the cash he’s saving, Mahmoud hopes he can improve his children’s future.

  • Cash in conflict
  • Cash in emergencies
  • Middle-East / North Africa

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15 Jul 2014

Type: Article

Organisation: ICRC

In the north and east of Sri Lanka, households headed by women and persons who were disabled due to the conflict are among the vulnerable, and the ICRC gives cash grants enabling them to start income-generating activities.

  • Cash in conflict
  • Cash in emergencies
  • Asia-Pacific

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13 Jan 2014

Type: Article

Organisation: ICRC

Cash assistance is an integral part of the much-needed support given by the ICRC and the Philippine Red Cross to the displaced population that is yet to recover from the destruction of their livelihood and property.

  • Cash in conflict
  • Cash in emergencies
  • Asia-Pacific

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10 Dec 2013

Type: Video

Organisation: ICRC

Most of the Syrian refugees living in host communities in Jordan are unable to pay for food, health care, rent, water or electricity, so the ICRC and the Jordan Red Crescent Society are helping out by distributing debit cards to vulnerable families.

  • Cash in conflict
  • Cash in emergencies
  • Cash technology

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