Increasing the Financial Resilience of Disaster-affected Populations

Increasing the Financial Resilience of Disaster-affected Populations is a desk review paper commissioned and supported by the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, USAID. One of the most significant problems facing a disaster-affected population is the need for ready cash. In a post-disaster context cash is difficult to come by for a variety of reasons. A useful approach then, to enable recovery and reduce risk, is to identify effective ways to enable households to access (or hold onto) a lump sum of ready cash. This paper outlines the meaning of household financial resilience and its relationship to the household’s cash position. It then explores the impact of different kinds of hazards on the cash position of affected households and how different approaches – both existing humanitarian assistance and livelihood ones, and recent innovations – have addressed financial resilience, drawing on a range of case studies. The paper specifically highlights insurance, savings, and credit as a means by which households can raise a lump sum and sure up their financial resilience.