Innovations, lessons learned and good practices

DRC 'The Non-Food Item Fair: Using cash-based vouchers to assist emergency-affected families' access to essential supplies' (Good practice)

Year: 2009-2011
Major Area: Emergencies
Language: English

Abstract:
In the past decade, the use of cash-based assistance and vouchers as an alternative to direct distribution of food and other relief supplies to assist families in crisis and transition situations has expanded within the humanitarian sector. While UNICEF has used cash transfers and cash-based assistance in social protection programmes for some time, it is now exploring ways to incorporate these approaches into its humanitarian work. UNICEF’s Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) office and some of its core partners for emergency programming have become leaders in cash-based assistance in emergencies by adapting and mainstreaming the approach through multi-province, multi-partner response programs throughout the country.   Using the Non-Food Item (NFI) fair approach, UNICEF and partners have reached 157,000 emergency-affected families in the DRC, or an estimated 785,000 persons between 2008 and 2011, with essential household supplies, clothing, and hygiene items. As of late 2011, the approach has expanded to six provinces and is now used to deliver more than half of all UNICEF NFI assistance in the DRC. This case study analyzes the strategy and elaborates on good practices supported by the preliminary results from data analysis of surveys conducted the day of the fairs and in post-fair monitoring from 2009-2010.

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