May 21, 2020

What we learned from the first Cash Hub Webinar on “Adapting to COVID-19 – The Use of Cash & Markets in the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement”

On 6th May 2020, cash experts from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and British Red Cross (BRC) joined forces to launch the Cash Hub Webinar Series on Cash and COVID-19. These online events share the objective to discuss how the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is adapting to COVID-19, from a Cash and Voucher (CVA) perspective. To register to the webinars, visit the Events page of Cash Hub platform regularly.

Panellists representing the IFRC, ICRC and the British Red Cross covered a wide range of topics, from the Cash Helpdesk for the Movement, to ICRC tips to adapt to the current crisis and the role of cash preparedness for NSs.  Emma Delo (Cash & Markets Technical Team Manager, British Red Cross) opened the webinar with a reflection on the role of CVA across the Movement, and its capacity to contribute to maintaining functioning markets. Emma reminded participants that the Cash Helpdesk can provide remote technical advice in Spanish, English, Arabic and French to National Societies using CVA and wishing to scale-up their operations, facing problems in adapting or interested to explore the use of this tool.

Alexandre Gachoud (Cash & Market Specialist, EcoSec Unit, ICRC) shared an overview of the ICRC Tipsheet, created to provide guidance on mitigating risks related to COVID19 and CVA, inform the adaptation of CVA in the context of COVID-19, and promote sensitivity to evolving market dynamics. He offered examples of using the the tipsheet in Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Yemen and Gaza such as hand washing and disinfections at local bank branches, social distancing during the collections of cards, avoiding thumb prints while giving away pens used to sign with, and switching to mobile money.

Caroline Holt (Manager Global Cash Transfer Programming, IFRC) explained the role of the IFRC in supporting the preparedness of 192 national societies, building their skills to deliver assistance through cash. She highlighted how COVID-19 is impacting cash distribution for the IFRC, and why the global strategy is still relevant and will continue to go forward, even if – in some respects – it will adapt. Some practical changes were shared in the context of the Philippines, Georgia, Rwanda, and Turkey. Overall, Caroline stressed the importance to continue investing in localisation, as NSs will remain the forefront of the response and retain their ability to catalyse positive change offering assistance to people affected by the crisis.

To watch the recording of this first webinar, click here. If you wish to read the main takeaways summarised by the moderator, David Dalgado (Cash&COVID19 Technical Specialist), click here.
The first webinar was attended by over 150 participants, which shared with the panellists several key questions. While some were tackled during the event, some were followed up in writing. The full list of Questions and Answers can be found here. A separate document with a detailed response from the Livelihood Resources Centre on “Targeting Entrepreneurs” can be found here.

For more resources related to CVA and COVID-19, visit the Cash Hub platform Cash and COVID-19 dedicated section.