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Description

Cash transfer programs including the World Food Program (WFP) effort for Mozambique provide unconditional cash transfers to poor and vulnerable households. Research suggests that these programs have significant climate resilience benefits and that households receiving cash transfers suffered much less from weather shocks, their food security increased, and poorest households saw the biggest gains. These programs are especially critical in countries with a high proportion of the labor force in the agriculture sector.
Mozambique suffered from severe droughts in 2015-16, which negatively impacted agricultural yields in 2017-18. Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in 2019 exacerbated the crisis faced by farmers, leaving nearly 3% of the population at risk of severe food insecurity. In response to these crises, WFP, with funding from DFID, developed a program to supply the affected population with either cash or food vouchers to allow them to obtain food for themselves and their households.

Mozambique suffered from severe droughts in 2015-16, which negatively impacted agricultural yields in 2017-18. Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in 2019 exacerbated the crisis faced by farmers, leaving nearly 3% of the population at risk of severe food insecurity. In response to these crises, WFP, with funding from DFID, developed a program to supply the affected population with either cash or food vouchers to allow them to obtain food for themselves and their households.

Stage of Implementation

In cooperation with the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Action (MGCSA) and the National Institute of Social Action (INAS), WFP worked to identify the most vulnerable citizens and geographic areas, determine transfer amounts, and distribute the cash and vouchers. Now concluded, the program reached over 24,000 households. A scaled-up version of this instrument is envisioned for the future.

Actors Involved

  • African Governments: Two key government agencies, MGCSA and INAS, were involved in helping WFP identify, target, and size the cash transfers to the affected populations
  • DFIs: Funding from DFID was used to establish the program and provide the cash transfers and food vouchers
  • Foundations/development agencies: WFP was instrumental in designing and implementing the cash transfer/voucher program

Criteria

To most effectively implement a cash transfer program of this nature, countries should have:

  • Access to data tracking the vulnerable populations and geographic areas in order to target assistance most effectively. In the case of Mozambique this was done by using other indicators of social and economic vulnerability as proxies for food insecurity.
  • A reliable mechanism for distributing funds, either through physical networks (such as local banks or community organizations), or mobile payments systems.

Applicable Countries

Numerous public works safety net programs being deployed and expanded throughout Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have the potential to integrate adaptation benefits and access international climate finance. These include Kenya’s Hunger Safety Net Programme and the CT-OVC Cash Transfer, the Republic of Malawi’s Dowa Emergency Cash Transfers and the Mchinji Food and Cash Transfer, the Republic of Ghana’s Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty and the Republic of Rwanda’s Vision 2020 Umerenge Programme.

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This project has been developed in partnership with the Global Center on Adaptation

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