Delivery Mechanism Mapping for Cash-Based Interventions (CBI) in Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh

As of 19th December 2017, more than 867,480 Rohingya are estimated to have taken shelter in Bangladesh having fled violence and persecution in Myanmar. Given the scale and diversity of needs at the household level, among both Rohingya and local populations, Cash Based Interventions (CBIs) have the potential to make the humanitarian response to the crisis more costefficient while addressing a range of different needs. 

As part of the Cox’s Bazaar Shelter Sector and Cash Working Group’s efforts to explore the feasibility of cash based interventions, a delivery mechanism mapping was conducted to document different delivery mechanism options, their feasibility, the potential for delivering cash assistance at scale through these mechanisms, and to further explore potential barriers and constraints as well as protection concerns that would need to be addressed to enable the scale-up of cash assistance as part of the humanitarian response in Cox’s Bazaar.

Overall, the mapping identified that there are a number of feasible immediate and medium-term delivery options available to the Rohingya and host populations. However, there are a few considerable constraints that need to be overcome before the piloting and scale-up of some of these options, particularly for the delivery of MPCA at scale. For the host population, there are a number of tried and tested solutions, including mobile money, cash-in-hand delivery, bank transfers, and other Over the Counter (OTC) transactions that could be used to provide cash assistance for a range of purposes (e.g. unrestricted, conditional/unconditional), in addition to e-vouchers for restricted transfers.

The critical issue that restricts a number of these options for the Rohingya population is their lack of appropriate identification that would enable FSPs to comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations set by the Central Bank of Bangladesh (CBB), and a need to clarify what specific financial services the Rohingya population are able to access in line with government policy and regulations. FSPs have demonstrated their ability to design potential solutions to enable Rohingya to access specific delivery options, e.g. pre-paid cards and smart cards, that would not require the application of the established regulations from the CBB related to mobile banking and bank accounts. However, there is still a need for clarity on acceptable and specific KYC for the Rohingya for these services based on identification documents they have access to and general confirmation that FSPs are able to provide these services to the Rohingya. In addition, humanitarian actors need to prioritize the agreement of a unique identifier to enable effective coordination and scale-up of MPCA, meanwhile inform the above discussions and negotiations with FSPs and regulatory authorities. 

Published 2019-01-11