July 29, 2020

What we learned from the eighth Cash Hub Webinar on “Adapting to COVID-19″ with focus on Shelter and Settlements

On the 29th of July 2020, the IFRC, ICRC and the Bahamas Red Cross led the 8th Cash Hub Webinar on shelter and settlements programming with Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA).

Marta Peña, from the Shelter team at the IFRC Geneva, began the webinar discussing the two major lines of action regarding shelter and settlements programming: supporting health outcomes through improvements in the physical environment and focusing on medium to long-term shelter interventions. Moreover, CVA plays an important role in shelter and settlements interventions, especially in reconstruction/housing projects. Marta stressed, however, that financial resources are not the only limiting factor to access safe accommodation, technical support and follow up is always required if the shelter objective is to be met. When multi-purpose cash (MPC) transfers are used, if it is clear recipients intend to spend to meet shelter needs then proper companion programming needs to be in place to maximise impact of the MPC

Alexandra Kappeler, from the Cash and Markets Team at the ICRC Geneva, and Mustafa Hakeem, WatHab Engineer at the ICRC Iraq, informed the participants of a durable returns programme in Iraq, in which cash for shelter is a central component. The durable return programme contains four main pillars: shelter, livelihoods, infrastructure and protection. There is a cash grant between 2000 to 7500 USD, depending on the extent of the destruction of the house and size of the family. Grants were being spent locally stimulating the local market. The speakers continued highlighting the benefits of a holistic intervention, the inherent flexibility in cash programs, and the sense of rebuilding community.

Laxman Chhetry, Senior Shelter & Construction Advisor at IFRC Bahamas, and Myrleinne Sargent, Case Manager at the Bahamas Red Cross, discussed the rental assistance programme in response to hurricane Dorian. The speakers revealed how the programme was carried out, who would be targeted, how the rental housing is assessed for adequacy, how much cash would be given per month for rent and how it would be monitored. Additionally, the speakers outlined several benefits the rental assistance programme provides and how it is being adjusted to COVID-19’s effects.

Santiago Luengo, OPS manager at the IFRC Americas Regional Office, discussed how rental programmes should be adapted in response to COVID-19 and how IFRC has developed a step-by-step rental assistance programming guide.

To register for upcoming webinars, visit the Events page of the Cash Hub platform regularly.

To watch the recording of this webinar you can click here, while more resources related to CVA and COVID-19 can be found on the Cash and COVID-19 dedicated section.