CARE’s Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) and cash and voucher assistance model are generally understood to be among the most dignified means of assistance, particularly for women.
By combining advocacy, support for broad adoption of best practices in cash and voucher assistance, and innovations that strengthen women’s ability to respond to crises, Village Savings and Loan Associations in Emergencies (VSLAiE) will spark systemic changes in humanitarian response that will impact millions of women, girls and their families for years to come.
Market-based approaches that increase women’s economic empowerment and autonomy, including VSLAs and cash assistance, have been shown to dramatically boost the ability of women and their families to prepare for, react to, and recover from crises. CARE is integrating these approaches into its humanitarian programming, while also filling critical gaps through innovation and broad contributions to the sector.
The VSLAiE initiative will expand the promotion and engagement of VSLAs in emergencies, complementing cash and voucher assistance. The combination of VSLAs plus cash and voucher assistance has the potential to immediately increase women’s involvement in household financial decision-making. The two groups also help women enhance their financial management skills through training and hands-on experience. To expand on these findings, CARE is designing and implementing pilots in crisis settings to help women drive their own recovery through cash-plus-VSLA models, while also developing a cash–plus–VSLA toolkit that can be widely shared.