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Cash connects people

Categories : Cash connects people, Cash contributes to education, Cash is the first step of financial inclusion
September 13, 2017
Tags : Contingency, Education, Social cohesion, Social Inclusion, Social network, Unbanked
Cash might be a symbol of national sovereignty, but it goes beyond that. It's an important tool for social inclusion, for education and is essential for places struck by a crisis.
Communication Team / Equipo de Comunicación

Banknotes are often a symbol of national pride and cultural heritage. Indeed, there is always some level of excitement when discovering a country’s currency while travelling. The colours, themes and sizes vary from one country to the next, and one can even learn something about the country’s history and heritage if an in-depth search is carried out.

But cash’s attributes go deeper than the simple banknote. Cash is a tool that connects people and builds a social network that no other payment method can equal. In fact, due to its simplicity and extreme user-friendliness, cash is used by all: rich and poor, young and old, men and women, rural and urban populations regardless of the level of education or whether they own or not a bank account.

Cash doesn’t discriminate and is an important tool for social inclusion. A growing number of NGOs and relief organisations are recognising the benefits of providing cash transfer programmes to those most in need. For example, the International Red Cross has found that offering cash instead of aid-in-kind in regions struck by crises allows victims to more quickly recover from a disaster. Also, cash transfer programmes are proving to improve the health and education of children of the poorest families. Even the EU has been adopting cash transfers to support refugees via the World Food Programme in partnership with the Turkish Red Crescent.

More recently, the landfalls of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma have demonstrated how important it is to have access to cash when disaster strikes. Indeed, even the OECD acknowledges cash’s essential role in a time crisis and published a practical guide for humanitarian professionals on the subject.

And finally, in a cashless world, what would the homeless do?