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Joint NGO statement on cash coordination in the Ukraine crisis response

Action Against Hunger
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We, the undersigning INGOs welcome and support the outcomes and recommendations of the Grand Bargain Cash Coordination Caucus endorsing a model for the accountable, predictable, effective, and efficient coordination of cash assistance. We are hopeful that this decision will help solve the longstanding operational issues which the caucus sought to address, and which were clearly set out in the June 2021 Call for Action as hampering “the scale, quality and timeliness of humanitarian response leading to a direct impact on the people we aim to serve.” We are eager to see the decision applied in various operational settings to the benefit of improved cash programming and broader humanitarian responses.

The military offensive in Ukraine since 24 February 2022 has caused large-scale displacement and given rise to a plethora of humanitarian needs. The March 2022 Ukraine Flash Appeal places Multi-Purpose Cash at the center of the response with a financial requirement estimated at 288,600,000USD – or 25% of the total appeal. In that context, the decision of the Grand Bargain Cash Coordination Caucus appears not only very well-timed but can effectively support the delivery of a more timely and efficient response to the benefit of the people in need in the unfolding crisis.

The current cash coordination mechanism in Ukraine has been in place since 2014 and has been reinforced in view of the current crisis to ensure a predictable, accountable, and transparent coordination of cash assistance. In neighboring countries and at regional level, cash coordination structures have recently been set up under the co-leadership of UNHCR and national governments. We are pleased to see the coordination mechanisms evolving quickly to respond to the needs identified. While we welcome these positive trends, cash coordination in the Ukraine crisis response would benefit from a formalized and predictable setup, like the one described in the caucus model, to prevent any future uncertainty among all stakeholders that may undermine the transparency, efficiency and inclusiveness of the cash response.

In view of this background, the undersigning NGOs:

  • Commend IASC for formally endorsing the model proposed by the Grand Bargain caucus and ask it to formally apply the caucus outcomes in the Ukraine response as soon as possible.
  • Ensure transparency, accountability to, and engagement with all cash actors (LNGOs, CSOs, INGOs, UN, Govt) in the response, with a particular aim to elevate the voice and roles of national and local actors, including women’s organizations, both at local country level and in the CAG.
  • Ask for immediate formation of the global Cash Advisory Group (CAG)
  • Ask that evaluation and learning systems are set up immediately as was done with the Ukraine cash working group. This includes performance indicators against which we can assess how this first experience of the new model fares in the Ukraine response. An operational review after six months should provide learning for future crises.
  • Ask that details of the model be applied and made explicit based on the Ukraine experience, in particular:
    • Ensuring programmatic and non-programmatic representation for co-leadership in all cash working groups to avoid a conflict of interest and risk of cash coordination functions being de-prioritized while agencies focus on mounting their own cash response. This should be tracked over the Ukraine response.
    • Adequate resourcing must be provided for agencies taking on coordination of CWG from the initial stages of a response.
  • Commend the work of the Cash Working Group in Ukraine and ask all stakeholders to keep working closely work together and uphold the positive momentum of cash harmonization and smooth coordination.

We welcome the Grand Bargain agreement and we are eager to see the recommendations emerging from the model proposed applied to the Ukraine response.

Signed by
Action Against Hunger [Collaborative Cash Delivery Network (CCD) member]
ACTED [CCD member]
CARE [CCD member]
Concern Worldwide [CCD member]
Catholic Relief Services [CCD member]
DanChurchAid [CCD member]
Danish Refugee Council [CCD member]
International Rescue Committee [CCD member]
Mercy Corps [CCD member]
Norwegian Refugee Council [CCD member]
Oxfam [CCD member]
Plan International
Relief International [CCD member]
Save the Children [CCD member]
World Vision International [CCD member]