Preparedness in cash-transfer programming

When Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in early-November 2013, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) assigned a field assessment coordination team to assess the situation and needs on the ground. Wendy Brightman, who serves as Regional Advisor for Cash Transfer Programming in Asia, Middle East, and Europe at the American Red Cross (ARC), was one of five cash transfer specialists in the Philippines. The assessment noted that the Philippines Red Cross (PRC) had already received preparedness training for cash programming before the crisis. PRC also had two business contracts in place with a remittance company and cell phone company to ensure a coordinated payment delivery system. In addition, even in the catastrophic aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, the Philippines had a functioning market, operating cash delivery systems, access to shops and markets, and relative security. Wendy states that “in this context, cash transfer programming was a very feasible option for a population familiar with cash and cell phone use, in both urban and rural areas. The Philippines Red Cross had gone through cash preparedness training and had two contracts ready to be activated. During the assessment, all indicators were pointing in the direction of this kind of intervention.”

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