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Cash and Voucher Assistance

Cash and voucher assistance (CVA) is a vital tool to support communities in crises. In times of tremendous personal loss and instability, CVA provides relief and can help impacted households like Haydar’s make purchases that directly support their immediate and longer-term recovery

Meet Haydar.

Haydar is a 31-year-old father, husband, and coffee shop owner from Hassa. He and his family’s lives were upended when a 7.8 earthquake struck southern and eastern Turkey. Luckily, his family was safe, but his home and coffee shop were destroyed. 

Haydar, a man wearing T-shirt reaches to clean his coffee machine.

“So, what you really gave us was support, a little ray of sunshine. We have figured out how to hold onto life again,” Haydar said.

To support his family, Haydar worked in the fields and moved into his parents’ home while they regrouped. However, running the coffee shop was his passion, and it was a special place of joy and community for him and his neighbors, especially after enduring such a destabilizing disaster. 


The local government in Hassa granted Haydar a storefront to reestablish his shop. CORE and local partner YSYD provided him with flexible cash assistance to get it back up and running. He used the money to buy equipment and restock the shop, and more importantly, restore his livelihood.

Providing cash assistance is the most rapid and positive disruptor in the humanitarian system, shifting the power dynamic so that people affected by crisis lead their own response.

Local CORE staff in Turkey smiling while speaking with a woman businessowner

Why Cash and Voucher Assistance?

CORE values the agency of individuals, households, and community groups in choosing how to meet their needs, on their own terms—that’s why cash assistance is our preferred response modality.  


Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) is faster and more cost-effective than traditional, one-size-fits-all humanitarian assistance. Through CVA, we prioritize recipients’ preferences and dignity, support local markets, and ensure a flexible response – all central to CORE’s ethos of community building.


Importantly, CVA creates new opportunities for traditionally excluded community members—including women and youth, older people, and people with disabilities—to safely access and control resources. CVA ultimately helps impacted communities effectively and equitably meet their immediate needs and longer-term recovery goals while contributing to the local economy.  

CVA is CORE’s preferred response modality when context allows. We routinely consider CVA across all our programs—including emergency responses and programs that address climate change and health access—because it allows our response to adapt to the needs of impacted communities while preserving the agency and dignity of recipients.


CORE’s CVA programs are backstopped by a technical cash and markets specialist at headquarters, and our regional and local staff, as well as implementing partners, are trained in CVA. CORE continuously assesses our processes and systems to ensure staff and partners can mitigate risks of fraud and corruption, and to ensure intended community members are safely receiving assistance. 


Following the completion of an organizational cash readiness assessment, CORE established various CVA commitments and tools to expand our reach and ensure program quality.  


CORE is committed to:  

  • Programming and Fundraising: Increasing use of CVA as a response modality within our programming and as a proposed modality 
  • Capacity-building: Ensuring staff and local partners have sufficient knowledge and skills to implement quality CVA programming including access to expertise from partners and networks.
  • Monitoring, Evaluation and Accountability: Ensuring robust M&E and accountability mechanisms are in place from the start of CVA programming to support learning, uptake of best practices, innovation and achieve scale. 
  • Protection & Safety: Ensuring programming controls to ensure CVA-associated protection risks for communities, staff and partners are identified and mitigated.

Our Approach.

Providing CVA transfers the decision-making power to crisis-affected communities to make choices about their own immediate needs and priorities. We consult communities during start-up on their needs and preferred ways to receive support, and we continue to collaborate with them to minimize risks and ensure assistance is inclusive, safe, and accessible for recipients.  

CORE uses CVA to support marginalized and low-income communities to cover the costs of their basic needs and essential services, replace lost assets, and restart livelihoods. We partner with local financial service providers, governments, NGOs, and community-based organizations to help design support, identify those most in need, and implement and coordinate market-based programming. We pair CVA with tailored support, such as business training, recipients’ rights awareness, and linkages to specialized services. CORE continuously assesses these processes and systems to ensure staff and partners can mitigate risks of fraud and corruption. 

Our Impact.

$6 million




4 continents


CORE has implemented CVA on four continents delivering more than $6 million directly to crisis affected households and community-based organizations. Our local teams and partners have delivered this support in many ways including through bank transfers, electronic and physical vouchers, prepaid cards, mobile money, and over the counter cash out. CORE has implemented CVA within food security, shelter, early recovery, and health programs.  


CORE leverages CVA within our emergency response, climate change, and health access programs. We are currently implementing CVA programs internationally in Haiti, Ukraine, and Sudan and domestically in Georgia, North Carolina, and California. 

CVA Case Studies.

To ensure CORE documents learning on the effectiveness and safety of its programs, we monitor and evaluate our interventions and take on feedback from impacted communities who received cash and voucher assistance.


CORE shares our learning with the humanitarian community, including across networks dedicated to CVA such as the CALP Network, to serve as resources for other humanitarian organizations implementing cash programs. Click below to learn more about how CORE has implemented CVA programs to empower communities around the world.