The Asia-Pacific region is marked by an increased number of climate-related disasters, demonstrating the need for more emphasis on inter-agency preparedness and early action. In this context, alongside global commitments to increase the use of cash and voucher assistance (CVA) and to link with national social protection systems, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, political and economic crises in the region, the CVA is a key element. in humanitarian and development programs which has also reinforced the need for inter-agency coordination on cash transfer programs.
In Asia and the Pacific, coordination of cash transfers is led by two regional working groups; the Asia-Pacific Regional Species Working Group which oversees both Asia and the Pacific; and the Pacific Regional Species Working Group which covers the Pacific Island countries. At the national level, cash transfer coordination is led by the various cash transfer working groups (CWGs) that oversee cash transfer programming in their respective countries, and in some contexts, coordination is facilitated by subnational CWGs covering specific geographic areas.
The RCWG Asia-Pacific includes members of national CWGs and other regional stakeholders, including donors, regional entities and representatives from UN regional offices, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. and other stakeholders engaged in cash assistance.
This strategic document guides the work of the RCWG Asia-Pacific as carried out primarily by the group’s core team at the regional level, in support of national JWGs 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 that the RCWG Asia-Pacific is developing with the CWGs in the region.
The background to this decision is that there is now a widely recognized need for a standardized and predictable approach to the coordination of cash transfers, on a global scale. To this end, a solution will ideally be developed over the next few years and approved at all levels, and this process will likely require significant consultation and testing with national JWGs.
The RCWG Asia-Pacific can contribute to this process and, in this sense, the strategy for 2022-2023 is a “pilot”, with results focused on thematic areas that are currently priorities for national CWGs.
This strategy describes an integrated approach, outlining the links between regional work and JWG activities at national level, how priorities align and what synergies can be achieved through joint activities and learning compiled from different operational environments. .