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Integrating nutrition component in cash and voucher programmes

This question was posted the Food assistance forum area and has 5 replies.

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Judith Mutala


Normal user

1 Apr 2015, 19:35

With the current shift in food assistance to use cash and vouchers as one of the transfer modality, it is not clear how aspects of nutrition can be addressed. In refugee settings, where beneficiaries rely majorly on the food basket, the implication of replacing part of the food basket ration with cash/vouchers remains unclear given the risk of beneficiaries diverting the cash to non-food or non--nutritious items.

Sanne Bakker

Nutrition Officer

Normal user

2 Apr 2015, 02:43

Dear Judith, WFP Bangladesh shifted 6 months ago from food basket to cash transfer in the refugee camps. I would recommend to get in touch with us for our lessons learned (

Sarah Oteri

Normal user

2 Apr 2015, 06:25

Judith, this is a good question. Were the refugees engaged in the designing this phase o the program? I know from the JAM findings, non food item needs were the reason the refugee sell ration and it is a likely reason they will divert the cash from food to non food items. Participatory approach is key to successful programming. Let us embrace it. The nutritionist from Bangladesh please share the lessons learnt with all of us. You can create a link here.

Anonymous 2611

CaLP Technical Coordinator

Normal user

2 Apr 2015, 14:47

It is also possibly a good case for rather designing a multipurpose grant that will address all the basics needs of the refugee population and thus prevent the diversion of the cash for food to other pressing needs.

Asfia Azim

Nutrition Advisor

Normal user

4 Feb 2018, 08:45

Hi fellow/s,
We are planning to introduce nutrition vouchers in urban areas where targeted pregnant and lactating women will receive a nutrition voucher and show it to grocassy and receive additional food ration.
I am therefore looking for your opinion on what sort of food items (except cereal) we should consider for ensuring optimum nutrition for pregnant and lactating women? How much amount is required?
Is there any literature available to be cited?
Thank you.

Dr Charulatha Banerjee

Asia Regional Knowledge Management Specialist

Normal user

5 Feb 2018, 05:27

Dear Asfia,

Keeping in mind the context of Bangladesh and as you mention cereal needs are perhaps covered what would be most important would be to meet the protein and fat requirements. Pulses and Oil can be purchased from the grocer perhaps even eggs- but what about meat and fish- which are critical sources of protein but as we well know beyond the reach of most poor families. Will your voucher be of use at local fish mongers/butchers stalls? Is part cash part voucher a system you would consider? Many women in urban areas work outside their homes - in garment factories/ as domestic help etc- so their grocery purchase might not be done always in the locality where they live - I am sure your voucher for fresh food will have to extend beyond the neighbourhood. This can be a huge logistical challenge. Hence the suggestion of part voucher and part cash. Will be very keen to hear more about how the urban intervention rolls out and progresses. Hope my comment is useful Best Wishes Charulatha

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