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JUST IN TIME: Advancing Anticipatory Cash in Pakistan

Cash and voucher assistance in humanitarian response has grown significantly in recent years, with evidence showing that it supports the agency of recipients, reduces harmful coping strategies, supports local economies, and is a cost-effective form of humanitarian assistance.

The use of cash as a form of anticipatory action is also gaining traction globally, in the context of escalating climate related disasters, increasing humanitarian needs, and growing evidence of the economic case for acting early. The provision of anticipatory cash involves early decision-making based on forecast-based indicators, which trigger the disbursement of cash or vouchers to communities at risk of being affected by a specific risk or hazard.

The 2022 floods in Pakistan inundated more than one-third of the country and affected 33 million people, including causing more than 1700 deaths and displacing nearly 18 million. Momentum and action are increasing for greater anticipatory action in Pakistan with the emergence of initiatives, frameworks, and potential approaches, and the country has substantial experience using cash during response.

This practice paper explores opportunities to strengthen the role of anticipatory cash in Pakistan in future disasters as part of broader anticipatory action efforts. Evidence emerging from this research suggested that there are opportunities to strengthen the use of anticipatory cash in Pakistan.