In Yemen, cash assistance contributes to positive nutritional outcomes

Tammam Ahmed 1, Main Chowdhury 2, Amer Bashir 3
1 Nutrition Specialist at Save the Children International , 2 Director of Programme, Development, and Quality at Save the Children International, 3 Head of Health and Nutrition at Save the Children International (Article in Enonline, Field Exchange 68 , November 2022. p29)
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The humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains the worst in the world. Six years of conflict have brought economic collapse, and the continuous breakdown of public institutions is driving the country to the brink of famine, exacerbating needs in all areas. In north-western Yemen, along the Red Sea, the Hajjah governorate is particularly in need of humanitarian support. While hostilities are subsiding, the area is home to comparatively high numbers of children affected by severe wasting.

In 2019, in response to the deteriorating nutrition, health and food security situations, Save the Children implemented an integrated multi-sectoral programme to enhance access to quality primary health, nutrition and child protection services in three districts of the Hajjah governorate: Ash Shagadirah and Bani Qais districts in the Lowlands, and Kuhlan Affar district in the Highlands. Unconditional cash assistance was provided to families with children who had successfully recovered from severe wasting.

This article is based on an analysis of performance indicators comparing the time when no cash transfer was in place and the same indicators during the time the cash component was introduced.

Some of the Key Messages of this article are : 

  • This article examines how unconditional cash transfers provided through an integrated multi-sectoral programme have impacted child feeding practices.
  • Cash assistance increased household expenditure on food, which was associated with improved food security at the household level and improved dietary diversity among children, as well as potentially promoting adherence to treatment programmes by children and their caregivers.
  • Technical support on the appropriate collection of relapse information during admission, as well as on improved data recording and reporting from health facilities, is needed to support the scale-up of cash assistance to food insecure families with children under the age of five in Yemen.

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This resource presents evidence or data but has not been peer reviewed