Alongside relief supplies like mosquito nets and jerry cans, the Red Cross has been distributing small cash grants – approximately $45 – to families recovering from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Cash allows people to make their own choices about how to piece their lives back together.
In past disasters, people have used cash to purchase items to meet pressing needs like seeds, school uniforms, bicycle parts, and mattresses. Lisa Rudolph, a member of the global Red Cross network’s cash transfer team, explains the process of surveying women in the Philippines to figure out what they have done with their small cash grants. The Red Cross cash transfer program in the Philippines is the largest effort of its kind – with a goal of reaching 50,000 families.