Cash Transfers for Disaster Response: Lessons from Tropical Cyclone Winston
46 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2018 Last revised: 26 Jul 2018
Date Written: March 19, 2018
In 2016, following Tropical Cyclone (TC) Winston, Fiji became the First Pacific Island country to channel post-disaster assistance through its existing social safety net programs. With wind speeds of up to 306km/h, TC Winston was one of the most powerful cyclones ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere, and the first Category 5 cyclone to directly strike Fiji. The Government swiftly mobilised funds through its existing social protection programs to channel cash assistance to poor households and vulnerable groups. Households covered under the Poverty Benefits Scheme, Social Pension Scheme, and Care and Protection Allowance were provided with a top-up payment equivalent to three months of their regular benefits, which was designed to help them meet their basic needs. This impact evaluation: (i) assesses the impact of these top-up cash transfers on poor households; and (ii) puts forward a list of recommendations on what measures could be put in place ex-ante to improve this type of response in the case of future natural disasters.
Keywords: natural disasters, cash transfers, development, Pacific, humanitarian response
JEL Classification: I30, F35, H84
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation