The use of cash programming has been an integral part of humanitarian operations in Ukraine since the onset of the response in 2015, particularly in communities in Government-controlled areas (GCA) where markets remain open and have established supply chains, and where financial service providers, including postal and bank services, are accessible and offer a delivery mechanism that is safe, efficient and suitable for beneficiaries targeted through this response. The proportion of projects with a cash or voucher component in the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Ukraine has shown an upward trend for years: it was less than 40% in the 2017 HRP, and it is now 50% (2020).
Since the very beginning of humanitarian response in Ukraine, multipurpose cash (MPC) transfers have been one of the most appropriate and timely modalities to addressing the immediate multiple needs of the affected population. Cash-based interventionsin general and MPC programmesspecifically are fit-forpurpose in the particular emergency context: they can assist people in meeting their multiple basic needs while also contributing to local economic recovery or even growth through an injection of cash into markets that have functioning supply chains and absorption capacity.
In order to determine an appropriate benchmark amount of humanitarian assistance that should be distributed as MPC, the Cash Working Group (CWG) has been facilitating analysis of the income gap between actual subsistence level and the average incomes of the populations in conflict affected areas.
Tracking this income gap has informed the periodic review of the MPC transfer value since 2015.
The previous MPC guidance document, which this comes to replace, was approved by CWG members in October 2018 in which the MPC transfer value recommendation of 970 UAH/person/month was endorsed. Since then, the continued relevance of this amount has been discussed regularly at CWG meetings. In November 2019, CWG partners agreed to retain the 970 UAH/person/month recommendation for winter 2019/20, and scheduled the next revision for spring 2020.
In April 2020, CWG membersraised concerns regarding the potential COVID-19 negative economic impact on vulnerable populations and the concomitantly increasing tendency observed for actual subsistence line. Partners agreed that the income gap analysis for vulnerable population should be undertaken immediately to determine whether the MPC transfer amount recommendation needed to be amended to reflect anticipated immediate and future changes in actual subsistence line and, accordingly, the income gap.