Issue Paper 4: 'Cash and shelter' in Learning from cash responses to the tsunami

Shelter responses after disasters have tended to focus on providing temporary shelter in camps, and then assisting in the rebuilding of permanent housing. Predominantly, this support is given in the form of in-kind aid. Governments or aid agencies either supply temporary shelters for people in camps, provide building materials for permanent homes, or rebuild houses themselves, usually through local contractors. In light of some of the problems commonly associated with the in-kind provision of shelter, e. g. poor-quality tents, or badly designed or inappropriate housing, giving people cash to help them obtain temporary shelter or rebuild their homes can be a viable alternative. This Issue Paper highlights some of the key factors to consider in thinking about the role of cash in shelter responses.