The Asia-Pacific region is marked by an increased number of climate-related disasters which point to the need for greater emphasis on inter-agency preparedness and early action. In this context, along with global commitments of increasing the use of Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) and establishing links with national social protection systems, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, political and economic crises in the region, CVA is a key component in humanitarian and development agendas which also bolstered the need for inter-agency coordination on cash programming.
In Asia and the Pacific, cash coordination is led by two regional working groups; the Asia-Pacific Regional Cash Working Group which oversees both Asia and the Pacific, and the Pacific Regional Cash Working Group which covers the Pacific Island Countries. At national level, cash coordination is led by the various Cash Working Groups (CWGs) which oversee cash programming in their respective countries, and in certain contexts coordination is facilitated by sub-national CWGs covering specific geographical areas.
The Asia-Pacific RCWG includes members from the country-CWGs and other regional level stakeholders, including donors, regional entities, and representatives from regional offices of the UN, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and other stakeholders engaged in cash assistance.
This strategy document guides the work of the Asia-Pacific RCWG as carried out primarily by the core team of the group at regional level, in support of national CWGs in Asia and the Pacific.
The timeframe for this strategy is intended to be medium term, and in this sense, the approach outlined in this document is a model which the Asia-Pacific RCWG is currently developing with the CWGs in the region.
The background for this decision is that there is now a widely recognized need for a standardised and predictable approach to cash coordination, globally. To this end, a solution will ideally be developed in the next few years and endorsed across the board, and this process will likely entail significant consultations and testing with national CWGs
The Asia-Pacific RCWG can contribute to this process and, in this sense, the strategy for 2022-2023 is a ‘pilot’, with the outputs focusing on thematic areas which are current priorities for national CWGs.
This strategy describes an integrated approach, outlining the links between the regional work and national-level CWGs activities, how the priorities align, and what synergies can be achieved by common activities and learning compiled from the various operating environments.