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Press release

12 January 2017

Christian Aid responds to ICAI report into DFID use of cash transfers

Christian Aid has welcomed the findings of an independent study into the use of cash transfers by the UK’s Department for International Development.

The report by the Independent Commission on Aid Effectiveness gives DFID a ‘green/amber’ rating and in particular it found they were effective at reducing poverty and vulnerability and were good value for money.

Christian Aid’s Head of Humanitarian, Nick Guttmann, said he shared the report’s recommendation that cash distribution schemes in emergency situations should be scaled up. He said: “We’ve known for some time that cash transfers offer a very effective and efficient way of delivering aid, especially to places which have suffered from disaster or emergency.  It’s good to see the UK Government’s programs given a positive rating. This independent report puts paid to any criticism that this is a bad use of the UK aid budget.

“Cash transfers are a fast and responsive way of helping people get the essentials they need in an emergency and also help the local economy to recover. Christian Aid used them most recently following the devastating earthquake in Nepal.   The flexibility of cash, over say bags of food, means it can target the problems that local people know they have rather than rely on decisions made by bureaucrats thousands of miles away.”

Following the Nepal earthquake Christian Aid sent a ‘Truth Truck’, to visit affected communities to record the kind of aid survivors found most useful.  Second on the list, after tents, was cash transfers.  At last year’s World Humanitarian Summit, Christian Aid and other charities committed to increase its support for cash transfers.

Mr Guttmann added: “As this report points out DFID would be wise to increase the number of cash transfer programs, in part because at scale it would provide even greater value for money by being more responsive to the needs of the people affected by the disaster.”


Notes to Editors:

1. In September Christian Aid announced that 3,500 churches had ditched fossil fuels and signed up for renewable electricity.  Many of these have come through the Big Church Switch scheme supported by the Church of England.  For more information visit www.bigchurchswitch.org.uk.

2. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

3. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended:  this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change (http://www.christianaid.org.uk/images/partnership-for-change-summary.pdf) explains how we set about this task.

4. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development.  Further details at http://actalliance.org