Statement from PAC Chair on Transferring cash and assets to the poor

15 November 2011

NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE: Transferring cash and assets to the poor

A statement from The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts:

The report highlights the enormous value of transferring cash, food and livestock directly to the poor and vulnerable. This method of funding leads to poor households receiving aid more quickly and transparently than more traditional aid programmes. This has led to immediate benefits such as reducing hunger.

In Bangladesh a transfer programme has increased resilience to floods and hunger and helped people stay out of extreme poverty even after the programme ended. The transfer of cash and assets, such as livestock, has clear short term benefits and there is evidence of the positive long term impacts.

The report finds transfer programmes form only a small part of the work undertaken by the Department for International Development. We welcome the recommendation that the Department should assess how aid is delivering and examine if transfer programmes should be widened. Extending direct payments, coupled with a better understanding of how to improve value for money, will build on the Department’s work in improving the lives of very poor people

The report is available to read on the National Audit Office website

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