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Harmonizing Cash and Voucher Assistance Approaches for Nutrition Outcomes in Nigeria

Author: Yara Sfeir
Year: 2023
Resource type: Report

Background

In 2022, Nigeria’s population faced multiple, simultaneous challenges including an ongoing protracted conflict, devastating floods, and the continued economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, the conflict in Nigeria’s northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe (known as the BAY states) continues with no end in sight, thirteen years after it initially began. Boko Haram and Islamic State’s Western Africa Province militants continue to indiscriminately attack people living in the BAY states, resulting in an immeasurable loss of human life, widespread displacement, and loss of livelihoods. In addition, an unusually severe rainy season, combined with the overflowing of a dam in neighboring Cameroon, led to flooding in many states across the country. The crisis has devastated infrastructure and livelihoods, leaving many dependent on humanitarian assistance and in urgent need of access to basic services.

Consequently, the Nigeria Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO), published in February 2023, estimated that 8.3 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance, among which two-thirds were children. The 2023 HNO projected that 2 million children under five were likely to become severely wasted in northeast Nigeria, a 16 per cent predicted increase in cases of child wasting compared to the previous year.

In response, several implementing partners have initiated CVA programs with the use of CVA for food security – among other purposes, including nutrition outcomes – in northeast Nigeria in recent years. However, each nutrition partner implementing CVA programs for nutrition outcomes in the area had different conditionalities, targeting criteria, transfer values, intervention durations, and transfer frequencies (Box 1 highlights these definitions further). The rationale behind the use of the different programs was arbitrary and meant that the beneficiaries were not always receiving a service that was tailored to their needs. The need to ensure well thought-through and harmonized CVA approaches by all nutrition partners quickly became a sector priority.

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Yara Sfeir (2023). Harmonizing Cash and Voucher Assistance Approaches for Nutrition Outcomes in Nigeria. www.ennonline.net/harmonizing-cash-and-voucher-assistance-approaches-for-nutrition-outcomes-in-nigeria

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